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Tribal Leaders Praise Sen. McSally’s Leadership on Tribal Gaming Enterprises Fix

U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) announced yesterday that small tribal gaming enterprises under 500 employees can now apply for financial relief through the Payment Protection Program (PPP). Her leadership on this issue is receiving widespread support from tribal leaders across the country.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez: “We would like to thank Senator McSally for her continuous advocacy on behalf of the Navajo Nation and Indian Country to ensure Indian gaming enterprises are eligible for the safeguards that the Payroll Paycheck Program provides to small businesses. With the revised SBA Rule released today, all four of our gaming facilities located across Arizona and New Mexico are now fully supported to keep employees on the payroll. Our gaming facilities closed in Mid-March and have remained closed so we appreciate the changes we have been advocating for to ensure the safety and general welfare of the Navajo Nation.”

Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer: “As a member representative to the National Indian Gaming Association, I am pleased with the revised rule. This will greatly help gaming facilities across Indian Country by allowing them to participate in PPP. Tribal gaming enterprises are economic generators for our tribal communities and, they too, are suffering. I thank Senator McSally and all of our federal partners for their strong advocacy on behalf of Indian Country.

Navajo Nation Speaker Seth Damon: “The Navajo Nation thanks Senator McSally for listening to the concerns of the Navajo Nation Council. Her direct advocacy on behalf of the Navajo people has been a crucial element in the Council’s ongoing efforts to protect the employees of our tribal enterprises. This is a positive step forward for our nation at this very critical moment.”

Chairman Jon Huey of the Yavapai Apache Nation: “On behalf of the Tribal Members of the Yavapai-Apache Nation and the employees of the Cliff Castle Casino and Hotel, I would like to thank Senator McSally and the Arizona Delegation for their stalwart leadership in ensuring that Tribal enterprises are eligible to participate in the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. Since the Nation closed its enterprises to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community and the state, we have done everything possible to keep our employees paid and their healthcare covered as long as possible. This decision of the Small Business Administration, which comes after the tireless advocacy of Senator McSally and the Arizona Delegation, will provide a lifeline to the Yavapai-Apache Nation and, more importantly, to our employees, our families and our friends throughout the Verde Valley.”

Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood of White Mountain Apache Tribe: “We greatly appreciate Senator McSally’s efforts in working with the Administration to clarify that small tribal gaming enterprises such as Hon-Dah Casino-Resort, which employs hundreds of tribal members, are eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program.”

Governor Stephen Roe Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community: “I want to commend Senator McSally for her hard-hitting advocacy on this issue, which is of great importance to many tribes in Arizona. There remain many similar issues that remain unresolved, and we are heartened that her strong commitment and advocacy can help educate the Administration to do the right thing when it comes to helping tribes through this crisis.”

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