SBA reopens Disaster loan programs for ag-businesses, including farmers

DES MOINES, Iowa- Farmers and agricultural business owners are now eligible for the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs.

Funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act is allowing a portal for the program to reopen.

The low-interest, long-term loans are aimed at keeping agricultural businesses viable and bring stability to he nation's food supply chains.

Agricultural businesses include businesses in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching, and livestock, aquaculture, and small farming and agricultural related industries. Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.

The SBA will start accepting new EIDL applications on a limited basis, for agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application thru the streamlined application portal before the legislative change, SBA will process applications without the need for re-applying.

All other EIDL loan applications submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications April 15th, will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

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Jayne Armstrong with the SBA office in Des Moines says in the wake of the pandemic, they've approved nearly 50-thousand SBA loans to Iowa businesses and non-profit organizations so far, totally nearly $5 billion

Armstrong says average size loan in the first round was $206,000 and in the second round the loan size is around $79,000. She says many community banks in Iowa are participating in the program and she says it shows many small businesses are getting access to the funding.

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