Written by Jay Petrequin for News 10 on April 15, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS10) – U.S. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, put her name on a letter Tuesday calling for Congress to consider legislation to aid seasonal businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter specifically points to seasonal businesses participating in the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers low-interest loans eligible for forgiveness to qualifying businesses. Stefanik and the other names on the letter – Congressmen and Congresswomen John Katko, Angie Craig, Anthony Brindisi, Jack Bergman, Fred Upton, Bill Huizenga and Abigail D. Spanberger – are calling for the application window to be expanded.

Currently, the program lets businesses calculate loan amounts based on 12-week payroll starting either February 15 or anytime between March 1 and June 30.

The intention is to use a window of time that exemplifies the costs to businesses while they are preparing to enter their season of activity. But now, as many businesses and communities face uncertain tourist seasons ahead, those windows may not provide an accurate financial picture of the months to come; which could lead to businesses not having access to as much in loans as they need.

“This limitation is especially dire for small businesses in the recreation, tourism and landscaping industries, which will continue to face significant restrictions on their services in the coming months as a result of the necessary public health policies that have been deployed nationwide to combat the spread of COVID-19,” the letter wrote.

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