For the first time ever, agricultural producers are now eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the EIDL Advance program from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The announcement made by SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza on May 4 which indicated that the application portal will be open in a limited capacity for the agricultural sector.
“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 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.”
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program offers advances of up to $10,000 for agricultural businesses with fewer than 500 employees and will not need to be repaid. The program is intended to provide a measure of economic relief to those businesses that are encountering a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Producers can submit their application for the program through the online portal.
“America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers need the same help that other American businesses need during this unprecedented time,” U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a press release. “This significant new authority signed by President Trump will make a tremendous difference for America’s agricultural community.”
Funding for the programs is being made possible through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act authorized by Congress. Agricultural businesses are defined as those involved in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising livestock, aquaculture, and other related industries. For businesses that applied for the program prior to the legislative change, those applications will be processed without the need for reapplying.