Mississippi Representative Trent Kelly (R, MS-1) led a letter sent today signed by 54 Members of Congress to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza requesting a delay to October 1, 2020 from March 11, 2020 in the effective date of an Interim Final Rule (IFR) addressing poultry lending the Agency is seeking to finalize prior to the end of a comment period. Additionally, Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and John Boozman (R-AR) led a similar effort sent today signed by 11 Senators.

The SBA on February 10 released an IFR establishing a review process whereby SBA would review farmer contracts and make an “affiliation” determination – whether that farmer was “affiliated” with a chicken processing company, thus ineligible for SBA assistance through loan guarantees – based on a set of criteria newly announced in the IFR.

Importantly, the comment period for the IFR closes on April 10, 2020, but the effective date of the poultry-related provisions goes live on March 11, 2020. NCC’s letter requested that SBA extend the effective date to October 1, when the remainder of the rule’s provisions goes final.

Because the SBA chose to finalize the affiliation provisions of the IFR before stakeholders even have the opportunity to provide comment, NCC sent on February 26, 2020 a letter to the director of the 7(a) Loan Program and to the SBA Administrator requesting a delay to October 1, 2020 of the effective date of the IFR. Both House and Senate letters sent today mirror this request for a delay in the effective date. This would provide stakeholders the opportunity to comment and SBA the opportunity to consider those comments before finalizing the rule.