WASHINGTON (KSMX)- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the Department is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Per the press release, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry CARES Act Program provisions 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 Secretary Perdue said.
In addition to expanding eligibility to certain agricultural producers, the changes Secretary Perdue announced today allow USDA to:
- Provide 90 percent guarantees on B&I CARES Act Program loans
- Set the application and guarantee fee at two percent of the loan.
- Accept appraisals completed within two years of the loan application date
- Not require discounting of collateral for working capital loans
- Extend the maximum term for working capital loans to 10 years.
B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses, including agricultural producers, that were in operation on February 15.
Eligible applicants may contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the project is located. USDA is developing application guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program.