Following are some of the available opportunities:
FEDERAL PROGRAMS:We are working with our federal partners to better understand the opportunities in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Agriculture will most certainly be impacted like other sectors of the economy, and we are grateful ag is included in these relief packages. Included in the overall plan is $9.5 billion to Office of the Secretary (USDA) for ag producers impacted by coronavirus (livestock, dairy, farmers markets, restaurants, specialty crop, and local food systems.) This is a broad package with not a lot of details right now on how it would be distributed. As more details on program specifics become available, they will be shared. Also included in the CARES Act is $100 million for the RECONNECT PILOT program. This will provide grants for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. North Carolina is participating in this pilot already, so hopefully the reach of broadband in rural communities can be broaden with this additional funding. Broadband is important infrastructure for rural North Carolina, and especially so now because of the need to distance ourselves from one another.
| Updated 3/26: USDA Extends Deadline for Local Agriculture
Market Program Grants
|Deadlines to submit new request for USDA’s 2020 Local Agriculture
Market Program grants have been extended by two weeks to end of May. For more details on the specific programs and opportunities please
check: Farmers Market Promotion Program Local Food Promotion Program Regional Food System Partnership
- Top-line overview of the PPP program
- Information for prospective borrowers
- Application for borrowers
- The best point of contact for questions on the Paycheck Protection Program is the Lender Relations Specialist in your local SBA Field Office. The local SBA Field office may be found at https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/districtoffices
- Link to the SBA PPP page: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp
- Link to find an eligible lender: https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find.
- The SBA’s coronavirus resource page is here: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
(New) American Farm Bureau and PPP Loans: https://www.fb.org/market-intel/update-ag-and-pppl
(New) Farm Credit Administration: https://ww3.fca.gov/readingrm/infomemo/Lists/InformationMemorandums/Attachments/263/PaycheckProtectionProgram.pdfThe USDA Coronavirus Resource Page has been updated to include FAQs on the Paycheck Protection Program (please scroll down to the appropriate tab). Since we have received this question numerous times, we want to highlight this section:
Q: Do H-2A or H-2B workers on my payroll count towards my eligibility and total possible loan amount?A: Only employees with a principal place of residence in the U.S. count
toward eligibility and calculation of the PPP loan amount. USDA has said they will continue to update these FAQs in the coming days. Please know that we continue to communicate the needs of our farmers and agribusinesses to our federal partners.
Updated 4/24/20: Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
How EIDL Works: Eligible operations, which now includes farms, that were in business as of Jan. 31, 2020 and that:
- are unable to meet their financial obligations;
- are unable pay ordinary and necessary operating expenses, OR;
- have suffered a reduction in working capital due to COVID-19,
may apply for an emergency of up to $2 million.Upon submitting an application, a business may request an emergency advance of up to $10,000, which does not have to be repaid, even if the loan application is denied, or the business chooses not to accept the loan once approved.
NOTE: Current SBA policy limits the amount of any advance to $1,000 per employee of the business as of Jan. 31, 2020.EIDL advance funds may be used to:
- pay sick leave for employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19;
- maintain payroll;
- cover increased costs of materials due to supply chain disruptions related to COVID-19;
- make rent or mortgage payments;
- pay utility bills;
- pay existing debts; and
- pay other bills that cannot be paid because of the COVID-19 disaster.
- The applicant business’ tax returns for three prior years;
- Personal tax returns for each principal owning 20% or more of the applicant business;
- 2019 Federal Tax Returns (or an explanation if it is not available yet);
- Personal Financial Statements (SBA Form 413) for the applicant business and each principal owning 20% or more;
- The applicant business’ debt Schedule (SBA Form 2202); and
- Confirmation whether the operation carries business interruption insurance.
STATE/REGIONAL PROGRAMS:Updated 4/15: Appalachian Grown certified farmers are now eligible to apply for an up to $500 immediate needs grant. Supported by the Appalachian Grown Farmer Relief Fund, this grant will help farmers who have lost sales and farm income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more details, including how to apply, see the link below.
ASAP – Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Golden LEAF Foundation: The North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program supports North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. This rapid recovery loan helps small businesses bridge the gap between when crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES:Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses affected by COVID-19. Sign up for updates here.