The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be extending economic injury loan coverage to agricultural businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced that agricultural businesses are now eligible for the agency’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance Programs.
According to the SBA website, the agricultural businesses eligible for funding include those “engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries.” The agency is encouraging businesses with 500 or fewer employees that intend to apply for the program to begin preparing their business financial information..
“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,” Carranza said in a statement. “These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.”
As of April 24, the SBA has issued a total of 38,984 EIDL loans nationwide, total $7,967,174,888. In Arkansas, there have been 155 loans issued by the SBA for a total of $31,675,500.
California has gotten the biggest piece of the EIDL pie, receiving 8,985 loans. This amounts to $1,895,998,988 in loans.
The SBA has also given out $4,805,897,000 in EIDL Advance funding as of April 24. The agency has processed a total of 1,192,519 advances as of that date.
Arkansas has had 7,548 advances processed for a total of $30,959,000.
The SBA’s online EIDL portal has been closed for applications since April 15. The portal is reopening as of Monday, May 4. The SBA is accepting new EIDL applications, but agricultural businesses will reportedly be prioritized.