The government agency that controls the SNAP program, FNS, has released their proposal for the newest version of the application that a store owner must complete to become a SNAP retailer. We want to make sure that retailers like yourself are aware of some of the changes that have been made that could directly impact the ability for small business owners to be approved to accept SNAP payments.
While the revised FNS application does ask retailers about their stock in a more easily understood way, the application does not detail what the actual stocking and sales percentage requirements are. We believe this is misleading and does not give retailers the chance to properly address what they may be missing or what they could do to become eligible. Other key issues with the new application are:
The application does not list what the minimum requirements are for staple foods, varieties, unit stocking, or perishable items.
The application asks store owners for the percentage of sales that come from cold foods that are prepared on site (whether they are intended to be taken home or not), implying that those items may affect SNAP retailer eligibility, although they do not.
There are questions on the application about other sales categories such as gas, household supplies, tobacco products, etc., none of which have any impact on a SNAP retailers’ eligibility.
You can express your concern and opinion about these changes by submitting a letter or “comment” directly to the government. We urge you to take the easy steps to do this, as changes like these could result in retailers in the c-store industry, especially those who are single store owners not being able to accept SNAP benefits.