The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding owners of New Jersey agriculture businesses to consider applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs.
Last month Congress authorized funding for EIDL through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. “The legislation, signed into law by the President, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” said SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger, who oversees all SBA programs and services for New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Despite its size, New Jersey has a rich agricultural base with 9,000 farms and 155 farmers markets that generate over $1 billion in annual sales, while employing over 7,000 workers,” added Bulger. “We want to make it clear to the New Jersey farming community that help is available to those agricultural businesses that may be struggling during this time.”
“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 enacted by President Trump, American farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses now have access to emergency working capital,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.”
Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)). Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.
The SBA is currently accepting new EIDL applications, on a limited basis only, to provide unprecedented relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. Agricultural businesses that are interested in applying for an SBA EIDL may apply at covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ using the agency’s streamlined loan application.
New Jersey agricultural businesses in need of assistance completing their loan applications should contact business counselors from the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers by visiting:
• SCORE at score.org/find-mentor,
• Women Business Centers at laedawbc.com/ or wcecnj.org/
• Veteran Outreach Business Centers at vbocregion2.com/
For additional information, visit: sba.gov/Disaster.