Farmers and self-employed business owners should receive the full forgivable loan amount under the federal Paycheck Protection Program under a measure backed by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik. 

The measure addresses a disparity in the program, which provided loans to businesses struggling with a sudden loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. At issue are modifications made by Congress and the Small Business Administration that allowed farmers, ranches and small businesses to have their loans recalculated based on gross income, not net profits. 

But the move had limitations on how far back those businesses could recalculate those loans, and the measure sponsored by Stefanik and Democratic Rep. Ashley Hinson of Iowa is meant to provide a fix in order to ensure the full loan amount is forgiven for qualifying businesses.

“The Paycheck Protection Program and other SBA programs have been a lifeline to our farms and businesses as they overcame the financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stefanik said. “This bill fixes the calculations for all eligible farmers by allowing them to retroactively receive the full amount of funds they have qualified for, providing much needed stability for families throughout the North Country.”