SBA is again accepting applications for PPP and other CAREs Act programs, following the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The program remains open to agriculture producers but is expected to again quickly run out of funds.
Lending institutions began taking applications Monday, April 27th. Producers are encouraged to apply NOW for the program. For producers, a list of program specifics, and an extensive FAQ document were provided by the Treasury department.
As a reminder, Farm Bureau Bank is working help to Farm Bureau members in apply for the funds. Members need not be an existing bank customer, something many other institutions are requiring before initiating loan applications.
The SBA has Outlined the Specifics of the New Lending Programs
COVID-19 spread has resulted in massive shifts in the way we live on a daily basis and how the government is supporting those around the county. We know that agriculture is a critical industry and is still open for business, however, support from state and federal legislative leaders is key to the success of the industry and allowing us all to weather this storm.
The CARES Act, signed into law over the weekend by President Trump, is a part of that support. The bill is MASSIVE and contains an extensive package to help all areas of the county during this time, but it contains aid for agriculture and rural communities.
The Act contains $9.5 billion in assistance for agriculture producers who have been impacted by COVID-19 along with a $14 billion replenishment to the Commodity Credit Corporation. There will be a temporary, three-month extension on repayment of commodity marketing assistance loans to help support farms and ranches. Also, for those small businesses who need help retaining employees, wage help and payroll assistance for qualifying businesses is available.
We know that rural hospitals and care facilities are already stressed and a global pandemic like this will only add more stress to those communities. In addition to support for agriculture, the legislation includes $100 million in ReConnect grants to expand access to broadband in rural America for educational purposes, business, and access to critical telehealth services. W. Within the bill is $100 billion allocated to support hospitals and healthcare facilities who have been devastated by COVID-19 costs.
SBA and Treasury Begin Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute CARES Act Funds
The Small Business Administration has outlined the specifics of the various programs contained in the CARES Act in an effort to get more than $350 billion into the hands of small business owners across the country.
““This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly. Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.
The programs will help provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed according to the SBA. Agriculture is included in these programs.
Various programs for small business, including agriculture-related businesses are included in the announcement including:
UPDATE as of 4/15: Please note that the SBA has updated guidance for sole-proprietors wanting to access benefits through the Paycheck Protection Program. Please contact your lender ASAP to see if you qualify for this program. Funds are limited and the sooner you apply the better. More here.
Additional information on eligibility and programmatic requirements can be found at the SBA COVID-19 website. If you are looking for information regarding disaster assistance funding, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance or call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing).