COVID-19

SBA's disaster loans now available to farmers and ranchers

By Doug Cantwell
dcantwell@taosnews.com
Posted 5/13/20

The U.S. Small Business Administration opened applications Monday (May 4) to allow agricultural businesses in New Mexico to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

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COVID-19

SBA's disaster loans now available to farmers and ranchers

Posted

The U.S. Small Business Administration opened applications Monday (May 4) to allow agricultural businesses in New Mexico to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

The loan program has been closed to agricultural businesses for 30 years, but new legislation by Congress includes the loans under the CARES Act, according to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said in a statement that, of New Mexico's 24,800 farms and ranches, most are seeing some degree of negative impact from the COVID-19 emergency.

"I highly encourage New Mexico farmers and ranchers to apply for the economic relief offered by the SBA for this program," Witte said. "New Mexico is a state in which 93 percent of our agriculture producers are small-to-medium producers, and 100 percent of our producers have been impacted by the severe economic harm resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic."

Secretary of Economic Development Alician Keyes added, "These low-interest, long-term loans can help sustain agricultural business through this health emergency and stabilize the food supply chains."

Agricultural businesses include those engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching and raising livestock, aquaculture and all other farming and agriculture-related industries, as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act. Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.

Under the EIDL program, a small business can borrow up to $2 million, with an immediate, fully forgivable advance of up to $10,000 that can distribute within three days. Repayment of an EIDL can stretch over 20 years at 3.25 percent interest.

Unlike other SBA programs, the EIDL does not require you to go through a bank or community lender. You can file your application directly with the agency at sba.gov.

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