SBA Programs Could Become Critical for Dairy Farmers

By: Anna-Lisa Laca

President Trump signed Congress’ latest coronavirus aid package which replenishes new small business loan programs that were overwhelmed by demand when they were first offered earlier this month as part of the CARES Act.

The new package includes $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which allows qualified banks to offer low interest loans that later can be forgiven and $60 billion for economic injury disaster loans (EIDL). Importantly, this bills makes farmers eligible for the EIDL program.

“It’s projected that these funds are going to run out within 36 hours of them being released by the SBA which should happen relatively soon after this bill becomes law,” said Claudia Larson, government relations director at the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). “The second part of why this bill is important to dairy is because this bill makes technical changes to both programs, which will hopefully help our dairy farmers overcome some of the obstacles that have been preventing them from accessing this important funding, up until this point.”

The bill passed this week includes special reserved funds for lending institutions that tend to be more prominent in rural areas like community banks and credit unions, she said in a podcast produced by NMPF.

How to apply for SBA programs:

  1. Talk to an existing lender to see if they have access to PPP funds, Larson says.
  2. If they don’t, Larson says you should identify a lender who has access to those funds.
  3. The next step is preparing your application which the lending institution can help with. Most of the documentation necessary revolves around showing payroll expenses. 2019 tax filings are ideal, Larson says.
  4. For the EIDL program you apply directly through SBA on their website. It’s expected to take less than two hours to complete the application.
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