AGA urges White House to intervene over Paycheck Protection Program

A letter addressing the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) Interim Final Rules released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) has been sent to President Trump by the President and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA) Bill Miller. 

The letter builds on the release of Miller’s recent statement which discussed his concerns regarding the SBA’s interim regulatory guidelines. However, the AGA CEO has now contacted the President to request his ‘immediate intervention’ in addressing the problems with the aforementioned PPP Interim Final Rules.

The letter read: “The American Gaming Association appreciates your leadership during this extraordinarily difficult time for our nation. The gaming industry is among the sectors most severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, in large part, due to mandated closure of facilities, which has jeopardized the livelihoods of the 1.8 million Americans whose jobs we support across 43 states.

“As you and your Administration continue to respond to the health, safety, and economic needs of the American people, I respectfully request your immediate intervention to address a significant problem with the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) Interim Final Rules released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) on April 2, 2020. 

“Specifically, these interim rules rely on antiquated, discriminatory policy that renders small gaming entities ineligible to receive critical loan assistance designed to help small businesses pay their employees.”

Miller’s letter goes on to praise President Trump for his role in the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Review, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), before reiterating the importance of the gaming industry as an economic engine, job creator, and taxpayer across the country. 

The letter continued: “We share your overriding interest in employees retaining their jobs so they can get back to work quickly once this situation has subsided. Individuals who are laid off will otherwise be pushed into unemployment assistance and Medicaid. Not only are workers better off when they remain connected to their employer, this approach has long-term benefits to our economy. 

“The dislocation costs associated with widespread unemployment are severe. Maintaining employees on payroll avoids rehiring complications, saves on future training costs, and increases productivity, which is essential to a faster economic recovery.

“In addition to gaming’s considerable needs to pay and provide for our own direct workforce, the gaming industry also supports 350,000 small business jobs. Making SBA resources available to size-eligible gaming businesses is the right thing to do. As it stands, the policy discriminates against these mainstream businesses and, more importantly, the hundreds of thousands of employees who rely on gaming for their livelihood.

“Accordingly, I trust you will agree it is critical that gaming companies and their employees can benefit from SBA loan programs, as the CARES Act intended.”

Miller concluded the letter by thanking President Trump for his ‘continued leadership’ during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and for the attention that he has given to the matter. 

The full letter sent to President Trump can be found here.

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