The Small Business Administration (SBA) on May 4 announced that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. The loan availability is a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, signed into law by President Donald Trump, provides additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For more than 30 years, SBA has been prohibited by law from providing disaster assistance to agricultural businesses; however, as a result of the unprecedented legislation enacted by President Trump, American farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses will now have access to emergency working capital,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.”
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.
“By allowing agriculture businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, the SBA has made available a much-needed resource that will help our growers as they wait for support from the USDA,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “I’m encouraging all farmers affected by COVID-19 to apply immediately, as applications will be accepted on a limited basis.”
For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application prior to the legislative change, SBA will move forward and process these applications without the need for reapplication. According to SBA, 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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