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New Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications being accepted on limited basis

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
The US Small Business Administration is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced on May 4, that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs.

SBA’s EIDL portal reopened May 4 as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, signed into law by the President Trump on April 24, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“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 Administrator Carranza. “These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting new (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications starting at 11 a.m. on May 4, on a limited basis, specifically for farm and agricultural businesses of up to $2 million and emergency grants of up to $10,000 for businesses affected by COVID-19. The online application is open to farm businesses only. The online application can be found at: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

The SBA was given direction in the CARES Act to modify their loan program for economic injury disaster loans (EIDL) to offer loans of up to $2 million and emergency grants of up to $10,000 for businesses affected by COVID-19. However, the first round of EIDL funding for COVID-19 did not allow agricultural enterprises to apply.

The new funding signed provides an additional $60 billion in funding to the EIDL program specific to COVID-19 business economic injury.

All eligible farm and agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply are encouraged to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.  

At this time, only farm and agricultural business applications are being accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received. 

In addition, SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.

SBA made this programming decision in order to provide the greatest emergency funding relief to as many small businesses, private non-profits, and agricultural businesses as possible.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue applauded the announcement that agricultural producers, for the first time, are now eligible for the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs.

“America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers need the same help that other American businesses need during this unprecedented time,” said Perdue in a press release. “This significant new authority signed by President Trump will make a tremendous difference for America’s agricultural community.”

For more information or to apply, please visit: www.sba.gov/Disaster.