WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., welcomed new guidance by the U.S. Department of the Treasury making rural electric power cooperatives eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program. The program supports small businesses with forgivable loans to keep employees on payroll and pay other expenses. Wicker was informed of the decision today by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Justin Muzinich.
“In Mississippi, rural electric co-ops serve their communities by providing reliable and affordable energy,” Wicker said. “I fought for this new guidance because Congress intended for rural electric co-ops to be treated like any other small business hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. I appreciate the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration for clarifying that power cooperatives are eligible for federal support through the Paycheck Protection Program. This decision will help keep the lights on in rural America.”
Wicker called Deputy Secretary Muzinich on May 4, and has been in regular contact with the department and SBA advocating for a clarification on the eligibility of electric co-ops in the PPP program.The new guidance from the Department of the Treasury is available at: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Interim-Final-Rule-on-Eligibility-of-Certain-Electric-Cooperatives.pdf