Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Administrator Carranza:
We write to urge you to allow small colleges and universities to use full-time equivalent (FTE) instead of headcount as it pertains to eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). During these unprecedented times, small colleges and universities, especially those in rural areas, have been hurt, and PPP could act as a lifeline. However, since many of these institutions hire part-time workers and have more flexible work schedules, they would only qualify for PPP if FTE is used for eligibility.
Colleges and universities are the bedrock of a number of communities across the United States. They not only educate the next generation, they also offer employment opportunities for many in these communities. These institutions act as economic drivers in small towns and cities, and if they have to lay off their workforce, local economies will suffer even more. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help community institutions, like small colleges and universities, survive these hard times and thrive once the COVID-19 pandemic is defeated. Without an exemption to using headcount, and instead allowing the use of FTE, these institutions will likely not be able to keep those in their communities employed.
We strongly urge you to allow for small colleges and universities to use FTE when applying for the Paycheck Protection Program. Communities across the country will benefit from these institutions being able to continue to pay their employees.
We appreciate your consideration of our request and look forward to your response.