COVID-19 Update on Availability and Expansion of Aid for Farmers
USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably After Identifying Gaps in Previous Aid
USDA recently announced Pandemic Assistance for Producers to distribute resources more equitably after identifying gaps in previous aid. At least $6 billion is being dedicated toward the new programs. This includes the reopening of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) sign-up for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021.
In the announcement, USDA also shared that they will develop rules for new programs to put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others.
According to USDA, they expect to invest approximately $500 million in expedited assistance through several existing programs and services by April 30. Learn more.
Update on Paycheck Protection Program Funding for Small Farms from Pace’s Food and Beverage Law Clinic
Pace’s Food and Beverage Law Clinic recently updated their COVID-19 Relief FAQ to highlight some of the most important recent changes that impact small and mid-sized farms and other businesses. The current deadline for PPP funding is March 31, 2021, and farms are encouraged to take advantage of the new round of funding and apply as soon as possible.
Pace’s Food and Beverage Law Clinic shared the following:
“More Funding is Available: There is more funding available under the Paycheck Protection Program, both for first-time applicants and those who have received funding in previous PPP cycles. If you are eligible and have not applied for a PPP loan before, you can access a First Draw PPP Loan. If you meet eligibility requirements and have received PPP funding in previous cycles, you can still access funding through the Second Draw PPP Loan.”
“Loan Calculations Have Changed for Some Eligible Businesses: There have been major changes to loan calculations for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed Schedule F Farmers. Now, loans for these groups is based on gross income rather than payroll. This change means that small farms with few employees can now access far more funding than under previous guidance.”
More details on PPP for farmers can also be found in a recent COVID-19 update shared by the Cornell Small Farms Program.