On May 21, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $1 billion in loan guarantee program directed at rural businesses and farmers.
Credit unions are eligible to make the loans which are designed to help rural businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. USDA is also offering funding to farmers and ranchers who don’t qualify for standard Farm Service Agency loans. The program stems from a provision in the CARES Act.
In the announcement, USDA says it will provide 90% guarantees and extend the maximum term for working capital loans to 10 years. The money must be used by businesses to “prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.” Lenders, including credit unions, can apply to participate in the program.
USDA announced the expanded B&I CARES Act Program in a notice published in the May 21 Federal Register. Program funding expires Sept. 30, 2021.
USDA is developing application guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program. The agency also will host two webinars for borrowers and lenders to provide an overview of program requirements.
To register for the webinar on Wednesday, May 27, at 3:30 p.m. ET, click here.
To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3, at 2 p.m. ET, click here.
“USDA intends to consider applications in the order they are received,” the department said. “However, the department may assign priority points to projects if the demand for funds exceeds availability.”
Agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Learn more here.