Small Business Administration Loans and Programs for Ag Producers

— Written By and last updated by Deb Fuller

We have been getting a lot of calls and questions about the different Small Business Administration loans and programs, especially the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) shared the following update that includes several links directly to the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration. We thought you all might find it helpful:

Last night, the Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Small Business Administration (SBA) released an interim final rule on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)Agricultural producers are eligible to participate in the program and should reach out to their bankers and/or agricultural lenders to apply immediately. While SBA still needs to confirm some administrative details, loans will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and producers can get started on the application now.

Below please find additional details about the PPP program. NASDA will provide additional updates once outstanding questions are answered by SBA.

  1. Program Eligibility
    1. All businesses (including farm and ranch businesses) are eligible for a PPP loan if they (1) have fewer than 500 employees; (2) meet the definition of a “small business concern”; and (3) are subject to SBA’s affiliation rules (unless those rules were specifically waived in the CARES Act).
      1.  Waiting on SBA to clarify the definition of “small business concern” – do not anticipate any undue restrictions.
      2. Waiting on SBA to confirm whether H2A workers are counted as “employees” for the purposes of determining size.
    2. Financial institutions, including the Farm Credit system, will be responsible for processing loan applications and administering the loan.
  2. Loan Terms
    1. Loan amounts are calculated based on the payroll costs for all employees whose “principal place of residence” is in the U.S. Please note that this definition excludes H-2A workers, which will likely reduce the loan amount available to some agricultural producers.
    2. This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%. Loan payments will be deferred for the first six months.
    3. The loan will be fully forgiven if at least 75% of the funds are used for payroll costs, and the remainder is used for interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
      1. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.
  3. The best POC for questions on the Paycheck Protection Program is the Lender Relations Specialist in your local SBA Field Office.

SBA PPP page

Find an eligible lender

SBA’s coronavirus resource page

If we get other confirmed information regarding SBA, or other financial assistance programs, we will pass those along to you. If you look through these resources and continue to have questions, please let us know and we can see how we can assist in finding an answer. Also, we hope you are all following the Department’s social media pages as we have been sharing a lot of great information and resources on Twitter and Facebook.