Monday, April 15, 2024

CARES Act expands emergency funding for farm businesses

Facing losses during COVID-19? The recent CARES Act has provided additional emergency funding for farm businesses through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The most important loan program for farmers to know about right now is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was authorized in the CARES Act. Farms that meet SBA small business thresholds are eligible to apply for this low interest, forgivable loan program.

Loans are first come, first served until funding is paid out. Make sure you contact your bank as soon as possible to see if it’s participating in this program. If your bank isn’t, know that Farm Credit is participating. The Food and Beverage Law Clinic at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University has created an FAQ on funding programs available to farms as well. Farms also are eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). EIDLs provide an emergency grant of up to $10,000 for small businesses suffering a loss of revenue because of COVID-19. Farms unable to receive a PPP forgivable loan can seek this option.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP is a relief program allocating $16 billion in direct support to farmers and ranchers who have suffered economically in recent months. USDA will also partner with regional and local distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat.


Navigating the PPP Loan Application: Tuesday, April 28, at 1 p.m. EDT

The Legal Food Hub hosts this webinar with Mary Rose Scozzafava, a volunteer attorney for the Legal Food Hub and a board member of a small local community farm in Lexington, Massachusetts. She recently assisted the farm in applying for a PPP loan and shares her advice and experience.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for Farmers : Wednesday, April 29, at 4 p.m. EDT

Farm Commons hosts these webinars to discuss the specifics of eligibility and how to submit an application through the SBA. These webinars look at issues with how the program has performed over the past few weeks. Learn how EIDL works with other relief options, too.

PPP basics and how your farm can qualify: Recorded Webinar

This educational Farm Credit East webinar covered the basics of the program, what size loan you may qualify for and how this program could assist your ag businesses with near-term payroll expenses.


The Cornell Small Farms Program is keeping a list of resources for farms to build resiliency through potential impacts from COVID-19.

The Cornell EDEN website is the hub of information for COVID-19 issues and resources.

The Cornell Ag Workforce is a resource for updates on labor management issues and programs/policies related to ag workforce issues and COVID-19.

The Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University answers questions around the risks associated with food production. It also provides useful links to expert resources to ensure a safe, robust food supply is maintained.

The U.S. Treasury has created a fact sheet for lenders and a fact sheet for borrowers as a guide about PPP.

If you have more questions or concern, touch base with your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Find your local contact.

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