Jovita Carranza, administrator for the Small Business Administration, said on Tuesday that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan and EIDL Advance programs.
"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.
SBA's EIDL portal will reopen on May 5, 2020 as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The new law has provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the businesses eligible under the new legislation, agricultural businesses, including businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching and raising of livestock, aquaculture and all other farming and agricultural related industries, will receive support if the organizations have 500 or fewer employees.
The SBA will accept EIDL applications on a limited basi to ensure relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. For these businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application, the 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, 2020 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis. "These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation's vitally important food supply chains," added Carranza.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.