Wyden, Merkley Call for All Tribal Small Businesses to Receive Equal Access to Relief

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley called on the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of Treasury to provide immediate clarification on tribal eligibility for the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Emergency Economic Injury Grants (EEIGs).

Wyden and Merkley’s letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin follows concerns that recently issued interim guidance may be interpreted to exclude certain tribal businesses, such as tribal gaming businesses, for both programs. The interim guidance expressly includes coverage for tribal business concerns, however, SBA regulation excludes small businesses that generate more than onethird of their revenue from legal gambling–causing confusion and uncertainty. 

“Tribal businesses, including tribal gaming, are significant employers for Tribal Reservations and their surrounding communities, especially in rural areas. While tribal businesses are closed to protect their employees and the public from the spread of the pandemic, it is vital that all tribal concerns under 500 employees have access to PPP loans to be able to continue to pay their employees and to help preserve their tribal economy and the surrounding communities’ economy,” the senators wrote.

A full copy of the letter is here.

A web version of this release is here.