Crow introduces bill to aid craft brewers’ access to coronavirus relief loans

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U.S. Rep. Jason Crow was among the House members on Thursday who introduced a bill to allow craft breweries, wineries and distilleries to access the maximum amount of federal coronavirus assistance for small businesses.

The Second Draw Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans covering certain business costs of borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic, allows for up to $2 million in assistance. In the most recent relief legislation passed in December, Congress put $137 billion into the Second Draw program for businesses that previously received aid.

The Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act corrects what Crow’s office described as an “oversight” that made craft breweries ineligible for the maximum loan amount and also excluded them from an extended debt relief period, which the legislation would extend by five months. The American Craft Spirits Association, the Wine Institute, WineAmerica and the Brewers Association support the bill.

“Our local breweries, distilleries, and cideries fuel tourism, employ thousands of Coloradans, and help make our community a vibrant place,” said Crow. “The health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has put the future of these businesses at risk. By swiftly correcting this oversight in the second round of PPP, we can help our craft producers stay afloat and continue to be an essential part of our community.”