Cole, Haaland Applaud Tribal Eligibility for Paycheck Protection Program
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) and Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, applauded the Small Business Administration’s announcement that all tribal entities are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This announcement comes after Cole and Haaland called for clarity on CARES Act funding related to tribal eligibility. Tribal businesses are significant employers on their lands and reservations and the surrounding communities, especially in rural areas. Because of lack of clarity, many tribal entities were left out of the first round of PPP funding, but are now eligible for the new funding in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which was signed into law today.
“I am very encouraged and reassured that tribal nations will indeed be eligible for the benefits provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act,” said Cole. “After speaking with multiple officials within the Trump Administration on numerous occasions, I am grateful they have heeded our words and will allow tribally-owned entities to be recognized with the same eligibility as other businesses. Financial security is vital in protecting tribal sovereignty during this crisis, and this change in policy will benefit tribes of various sizes, including smaller tribes that are in need of this help the most. I am proud that our hard work on this issue has paid off and the people of Indian Country will receive much deserved benefits.”
“All small businesses need relief from the economic struggles caused by this pandemic, but we heard from many Tribes that it was unclear if all their tribal entities would be eligible for relief through the programs created in the CARES Act. That’s why we called on the Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury to provide clarity and impressed the need to provide economic support for Tribes. Our hard work alongside my dear friend and colleague, Rep. Sharice Davids, to include tribal entities in this funding paid off. Now Native communities will have more financial security as we continue to address the impacts of this pandemic,” said Haaland.
When Cole and Haaland were made aware of challenges tribes across the country were facing in accessing PPP funding, they led a Congressional Native American Caucus letter to the Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury.
The letter sent to the Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury in early April can be viewed here.