Loan and Grants for Small Agricultural Businesses
Many farmers are at a loss in thinking about how to continue into the unforeseeable future when the pandemic has lifted.
For some, they are able to keep selling, but nowhere near the amount of profit they made previously. For others, it means shutting down production and letting crops go to waste. At FMOW, we are trying our best to keep farms running as well as they can given the current climate — part of that lies on community members who are dedicated to buying from their local small farms.
However, there is no harm for farms to reach out to other resources and opportunities that may aid them for now. By these resources, we mean loans and grants.
With the onset of the pandemic, many small businesses felt discouraged, since the initial wave of relief loans saw handouts to larger corporations rather than struggling independent small companies. Later, loans were handed out more fairly, but in general, loans and grants sometimes rely on how big a company is. Then, smaller businesses are cut out of opportunities to compete fairly with their big companies. In the farm world, that competition is between small local farmers and big agriculture.
Secondly, small farms and businesses, in general, do not have as much manpower or legal assistance as larger companies to find these resources and take the time to draw up the paperwork and apply. That can be attributed to small farms having a greater responsibility to manage the land that they work dusk till dawn for and the small team that helps them. In the end, it seems the larger companies that have greater capital under their belt get the longer end of the stick, while small independent businesses are left on their own.
However, the SBA, or Small Business Administration, has recently opened up new grants and loans specialized for small businesses and independent contractors. Yes, small farms fit under that category. This is through PPP, or the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs. These funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
On June 15, the SBA announced that it was once again opening its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant and loan program. This means that small businesses and agricultural businesses can apply for a grant equal to $1,000 per employee of the business, up to a maximum of $10,000, with no need for repayment.
For help on applying, visit this Forbes article.
To anyone who is an independent farmer, knows a farmer, or knows any small business in need, please consider this opportunity to hopefully alleviate some current stress, and focus more energy towards the future. If you have any additional information that could help farmers and small businesses, feel free to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are all in this together.