The US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced up to US$1bn (£810m) in loan guarantees to help rural businesses cope with the costs of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The US Department of Agriculture has also confirmed that agricultural producers that are not eligible for its Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding through provisions in its Business and Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program, included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“Ensuring more rural agricultural producers are able to gain access to much-needed capital in these unprecedented times is a cornerstone of that commitment,” said Mr Perdue.
The loans must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The applications will be considered in the order they are received, confirmed the USDA.
Applications will be accepted until 15 September 2021, or until funds are expended.
The webinar featured Doug O’Brien, president and CEO, NCBA CLUSA; Chuck Conner, president and CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; Bette Brand, deputy undersecretary of Rural Development, USDA; and Mark Brodziski, acting administrator of Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.