Hoeven: Treasury Clarifies PPP Eligibility for Telecommunications Cooperatives

Senator Worked to Ensure Cooperative Access to COVID-19 Assistance

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued guidance making telecommunications cooperatives with less than 500 employees eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Hoeven has been working with the administration to ensure cooperatives, which provide vital services to many communities in North Dakota, are able to access the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic assistance. This follows the senator’s similar efforts on behalf of rural electric cooperatives, which were made eligible for the PPP last month.

“Cooperatives provide a wide range of essential services throughout our state, especially in rural areas, which is why we’ve been pressing the administration to include them under the PPP as Congress intended,” said Senator Hoeven. “Access to this assistance will help telecommunications providers across our state to maintain their operations as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and continue to re-open our economy.”

“Recognition by the Treasury Department that telecommunications cooperatives are eligible recipients of Paycheck Protection Program dollars is tremendously important to the local broadband providers during COVID-19,” said David Crothers, Executive Vice President of the Broadband Association of North Dakota. “We are deeply appreciative of Senator Hoeven's efforts on this matter as he repeatedly reached out to Treasury on our behalf. The senator has been a powerful advocate for broadband providers and his leadership will ensure that operations of this critical industry will remain as normal as possible as we deal with the current challenges.”