Amodei protests rule barring stimulus money to gaming employers

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Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nv., says while the federal government has moved rapidly to approve funding for many Nevada small businesses, it is denying loans to businesses that receive more than one-third of their income from legal gaming.

He said that decision based on a 25-year-old regulation ignores the plain language of the stimulus legislation.

“I suggest the Treasury secretary and SBA administrator refrain from scheduling any ‘thank you’ rallies in Nevada anytime soon as their irrational decision to refuse assistance to many deserving small businesses completely flies in the face of specific provisions contained in the CARES Act,” he said.

Amodei pointed out that the act provides access to loans and other benefits stating that, “in addition to small business concerns, any business concern, nonprofit organization, veterans organization or tribal business concerns … shall be eligible to receive a covered loan.” The language, he said, applies to any business with fewer than 500 employees.

In Nevada, that would include many restaurant/bars that offer patrons slot machines, mini-casinos such as the Dotty’s chain as well as their suppliers. Amodei said the good news is that, as of April 13, the SBA reports that the agency has approved 4,209 loan applications totaling $1.25 billion in Nevada.

But he said denying help to many of Nevada’s small businesses and their workers, “has left a permanent stain on the U.S. Treasury and the SBA.”


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