U.S. Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) are requesting that the Small Business Administration (SBA) issue updated guidance to allow small tribal gaming enterprises under 500 employees to apply for assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, the senators expressed frustration that although the text of the recently-passed CARES Act states that “any…tribal business concern” under 500 employees is eligible to participate in the PPP, the SBA’s latest guidance imposed additional restrictions that prohibited tribal gaming enterprises from accessing this relief.

“Tribal gaming enterprises provide thousands of jobs for both native and non-native employees, often in rural areas of the country,” the senators wrote. Even small gaming operations under 500 employees are frequently among the largest employers in their communities. The PPP is about keeping employees connected with their employers so that small businesses can quickly ramp back up their economic activity and help lift their communities into recovery after this health crisis is addressed. To ensure the PPP can fulfil this purpose, we respectfully request that the SBA issue updated guidance to clarify that any tribal business, including tribal gaming enterprises, are eligible for the PPP as Congress intended.”

The full text of the letter is available here.