Federal disaster loans now available to farmers

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration this week said that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s EIDL portal reopened Monday as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The update to the laws provides additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza pointed out that SBA had been prohibited by law from providing disaster assistance to agricultural businesses, and she credited the new law for giving American farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses access to emergency working capital.
“These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains,” Carranza said.
Many ag industry observers said on its own this EIDL help wouldn’t be enough to save all farms, but most thought it was a step in the right direction.
Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries. Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.
The SBA will begin accepting new EIDL applications on a limited basis only, in order to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will move forward and process these applications without the need for re-applying. All other EIDL loan applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.
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