OOIDA doesn’t want truckers left out of next wave of PPP

September 21, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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OOIDA wants Congress to provide “clear guidance” that will allow small-business truckers to demonstrate their eligibility for a proposed second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans.

In a letter to the Small Business Committee leaders in the House and Senate, OOIDA supported efforts for additional assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic but also stressed concerns about how proposed eligibility requirements could affect truck drivers.

“Recent proposals to provide a second round of PPP loans have included a requirement that a business experience decline in its gross receipts to be eligible,” OOIDA wrote in the Sept. 21 letter signed by President and CEO Todd Spencer. “Congress must ensure that deserving small businesses are able to easily demonstrate this criterion. In particular, we ask that you make clear what documentation is necessary to meet this requirement.”

OOIDA said it understands Congress’ desire to limit the second wave of PPP loans to businesses that have been struggling but also wants to make sure that deserving self-employed workers, including owner-operators, aren’t blocked from receiving assistance because of difficulties providing the necessary documentation.

“Small-business truckers keep necessary records to stay compliant with existing regulations and requirements, such as tax filings, but these may not be useful to demonstrate 2020 gross receipts,” OOIDA wrote. “We represent men and women who run their business out of their truck or home. Some of these sole proprietors or self-employed individuals keep records on paper tablets or simple computer spreadsheets. We have concerns that lenders or the government may question the validity of these records.”

That concern is why OOIDA is asking Congress to provide clear guidance on what documentation will be accepted in the PPP loan program.

“Without clear guidance or certainty that their documentation will be accepted, small-business truckers who are otherwise eligible may opt not to apply for a second PPP loan,” OOIDA wrote. “Small businesses are rightfully concerned that they could face a government audit or penalties. We also expect that lenders could hesitate to accept documentation without a clear directive from the federal government.

“Congress can resolve this issue by including clear and simple documentation requirements in legislation providing new PPP loans. As we saw in the first round of loans, the Small Business Administration offered confusing and at times contradictory guidance. Congress must avoid these same issues if financial assistance is to actually reach small businesses.” LL

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.