The program helps employers pay workers, rent, etc.
By Diego Flammini
U.S. producers can receive loans from the Small Business Administration to help their businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Farmers are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides federal loans of up to US$10 million to help small businesses with 500 or fewer employees retain and pay workers.
The funding will help pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits, and operating expenses like rent and utility payments.
Until the Trump administration passed its CARES Act, the US$2-trillion stimulus package to help the American economy overcome the effects of the coronavirus, farmers were excluded from the paycheck program.
The total amount of the CARES Act set aside for the paycheck program is about US$349 billion.
Now that farmers are eligible for the program, industry officials are encouraging producers to sign up for it.
“There are many resources available to help support our farmers during this difficult time,” said Randy Romanski, Wisconsin’s interim ag secretary, the Wisconsin State Farmer reported. “Farmers who think they may be eligible should be aware of this opportunity and reach out to their lenders if they are interested.”
The program will be administered on a first come, first served basis.
Farmers and other small business owners can apply until June 30.
Farms.com has reached out to ag economists and individual farmers for comment on the program.