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Agricultural businesses can now apply for COVID-19 loans from the SBA
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Agricultural businesses can now apply for COVID-19 loans from the SBA

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Agricultural businesses can now apply for COVID-19 loans from the SBA

A farm near Michigan City is shown in this file photo.

Agricultural businesses can now get COVID-19 relief from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans to provide them with working capital during the pandemic. They can get federal funds to meet their financial obligations while the economy is disrupted because of the viral outbreak and the resulting stay-at-home orders.

“For more than 30 years, SBA has been prohibited by law from providing disaster assistance to agricultural businesses; however, as a result of the unprecedented legislation, American farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses will now have access to emergency working capital,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said. “These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.”

Many agricultural businesses across Indiana and the nation have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including meat producers who have faced bottlenecks at shuttered slaughterhouses and dairy producers who have been forced to give milk away before it expires.

Agricultural businesses can qualify for the emergency SBA loans if they have fewer than 500 employees and produce food, fiber, livestock or aquaculture. They also can get forgivable loans to keep employees on payroll.

The online portal can be accessed at covid19relief.sba.gov.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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