ALEXANDRIA, Va.—NACS, NATSO, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) sent a joint industry letter Friday to U.S. House and Senate leaders requesting access to small business loans under the CARES Act for convenience and fuel retailers fighting to feed and supply America during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the trade associations representing the essential business of providing food and fuel to first responders and other Americans, our member companies desperately need expanded access to Small Business Loans under the CARES Act to ensure our doors can stay open to serve our customers,” the letter states.
The CARES Act expands access to emergency SBA loans to businesses with more than 500 employees in total if they are assigned a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code beginning with 72 and have fewer than 500 employees per location. This covers most restaurants and hotels. But many convenience stores and fuel marketers don’t qualify for these emergency loans because they have more than 500 employees spread across multiple stores.
“Expanding the NAICS code exception to codes beginning with 44 with the additional requirement that applicants be classified as Essential Critical Infrastructure as deemed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidance would ensure our businesses have a better chance to survive this crisis,” the industry letter states.
The CISA list with NAICS codes beginning with 44 covers a limited category of businesses that include convenience stores, gas stations, truck stops, grocery and other food stores, drugstores, hardware stores and auto parts stores.