Covid-19 Stimulus Package – Small Business Administration

UPDATE:  April 24, 2020

More Funding for Paycheck Protection Program:  OPEN April 27, 2020

Farms Now Eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

This week, Congress passed a bill that provides more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and makes farms eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
The new funding for the Paycheck Protection Program could be available as soon as Monday 4/27 and interest in this program is still extremely high, so contact your bank soon if you are interested (see article below for more details.)
If you are interested in the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan process, start with this website:


April 3, 2020

The CARES Act (the stimulus package passed in late March) sets up two main programs for small businesses, administered by the Small Business Administration.

Here is a flow chart from the House Small Business Committee that shows the difference between the two programs.

One program is Economic Injury Disaster Loans. This is a loan that has to be paid back, and as of April 2nd, it is not open to farms. Many groups, including OFA, are working to try to refine the requirements for this program so that farms can apply.

The other SBA program is the Paycheck Protection Program. This starts out as a loan, but if businesses keep people on the payroll for 8 weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities, the loan can be forgiven (or partially forgiven based on how long people stay on the payroll). Farms can apply to this program.

Food-related businesses should be able to apply to either program (if they meet all the criteria).

Banks approved by the Small Business Administration (including some in the farm credit system) are supposed to start processing Paycheck Protection Program applications on Friday, April 3rd and demand for the program is expected to be extremely high.

If you are considering applying for this program, contact your bank as soon as possible. (Or you can find a qualified lender on the SBA website).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also received funding in the stimulus bill to direct aid to farms, including for specialty crop, livestock and producers who supply local markets. We do not yet know the details of how this money will be spent, but OFA is working to make sure that organic producers can qualify.

Useful Links:

Washington Post Article on How to Get Small Biz Loan:

Small Business Owner’s Gudie to the CARES Act:’s%20Guide%20to%20the%20CARES%20Act.pdf

Paycheck Protection Program Information from the Small Business Administration

Small Business Administration Covid-19 Relief Options

There are also other programs that the SBA uses for disaster lending (like micro loans and bridge loans), sometimes in cooperation with the states. Getting in touch with a SBA regional office or a Small Business Development Center is also a good idea to see if there are other programs that might work for you.