Commercial fishing businesses now eligible for larger paycheck protection loan; deadline is fast approaching

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Commercial fishing businesses can now apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loans that include crew in payroll costs, as the Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration has amended a rule that previously counted crew as independent contractors, Alaska’s congressional delegation announced Thursday.

Commercial fishing businesses have been able to apply for the PPP loans before now, but the loan amounts would not have allowed businesses to count the fishing crew as employees when reporting payroll costs. The new change should lead to higher loan amounts, the congressional delegation said.

The deadline to apply for the loans is June 30.

“Enabling fishermen to secure the resources they need through PPP is not only fair, it means that these businesses so critical to Alaska have a fighting chance to stay afloat,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski said in a prepared statement.

Documents from the U.S. Small Business Adminstration suggest that the rule led to confusion among fishing businesses because it was unclear whether or not owners could report crew payments in their loan applications.

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