WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) released the following statement Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $200 million in Pandemic Assistance to provide relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have experienced losses due to COVID-19:
“North Carolina’s timber producers, harvesters and haulers are critical to North Carolina’s rural communities. I applaud the USDA for finally disbursing the $200 million that my colleagues and I worked to include in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in 2020. This assistance will be a lifeline to family logging and hauling businesses that have suffered financial hardships due to COVID-19 and the ensuing economic crisis – especially here in North Carolina.”
The program is modeled after the Loggers Relief Act, legislation Congressman Rouzer, Senator Collins and Congressman Golden introduced that Congress passed and was signed into law last year to establish a new program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide direct payments to timber harvesting and hauling businesses.
Specifically, the legislation would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to provide payments to eligible logging businesses that have experienced at least a 10 percent loss in revenues from January through July 2020 as compared to the same timeframe last year. Those who qualify would receive direct payments equal to 10 percent of their gross revenue from January through July of last year and would only be permitted to use the funds for operating expenses, including payroll.
In February 2021, Congressman Rouzer joined Senator Collins and Rep. Golden, as well as several other colleagues in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to urge the quick distribution of the $200 million in COVID-19 relief funding for logging and log hauling businesses that was included in the COVID-19 relief package that was signed into law in December. Click here to read the letter.
To learn more on program details and how to apply, visit www.usda.gov.