Wyden Urges Small Business Administration to Allow Co-ops Equal Access to COVID-19 Aid

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today urged the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to treat cooperative businesses—or co-ops—the same as other small businesses and allowed equal access to aid provided in the recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

In a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, Wyden specifically requested that co-ops in Oregon and nationwide can fully participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide the necessary funding to keep workers on their payrolls as the agency issues guidance and implements the CARES Act.

“This is critical for the over 65,000 cooperative businesses in the United States that collectively generate more than $75 billion in annual wages. Barring access to this critical financing would put these thousands of small businesses and their employees at risk and create an uneven playing field for cooperatives in relation to other types of businesses in their industry sectors,” Wyden wrote. “The harsh economic consequences of COVID-19 do not discriminate by business structure, making it imperative that cooperative businesses are treated equally with other business structures and able to access the PPP loans.”

“I recognize the challenge that SBA faces in implementing PPP and disbursing funds at unprecedented rates. This is an unprecedented crisis for the United States and I stand ready to support the SBA to ensure cooperative businesses will receive equal access under the Paycheck Protection Program,” Wyden concluded.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

A web version of this release is here.