The text of the most recent COVID19 relief bill includes welcome news for agricultural producers. In addition to providing over $300 billion for the popular Paycheck Protection Program, it would also make agricultural enterprises eligible for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
EIDL is a popular small business relief program that has been operational for some time. However, agricultural enterprises have historically not been able to participate (the U.S. Department of Agriculture typically administers disaster relief programs for the agriculture community). Thankfully, given the unprecedented nature of the COVID19 pandemic, Congress recognized that expanding the EIDL program to include the producers of food, fuel, and fiber is the right thing to do.
The legislation still must pass both chambers of Congress and be signed by the President, but it is expected to pass without delay.