Are there financial programs to help farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Answer: The COVID-19 pandemic is causing financial distress across the country. Here are some resources that can help.

A Closer Look at Farmer Relief in Senate Pandemic Aid Package, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
NSAC breaks down how the senate aid package in response to the COVID-19 crisis provides relief to farmers and ranchers.

The Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan Program, Hebrew Free Loan Society – New York City Area
HFLS is providing interest-free loans of $2,000 to $5,000 to residents of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.

COVID-19 Bridge Loans Program, Hebrew Free Loan Association – Pittsburgh
The Bridge Loan Program provides interest-free loans on a nonsectarian basis for up to $5,000 to residents in the Pittsburgh area who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

Disaster Loans in Response to Coronavirus, Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Note that eligible businesses include small agricultural cooperatives and producer cooperatives, but not agricultural enterprises. Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. A list of areas eligible for these disaster loans is available online.

Emergency Mini-Grants, Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA
RAFI-USA will be distributing emergency mini-grants of $500 to farmers who are drastically impacted by market sales disruptions caused by COVID-19. Funding is currently limited to farmers located in North Carolina.

Farmer Relief Fund, American Farmland Trust
AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19, USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development offers several opportunities for immediate relief under Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Some application deadlines are also being extended.

ATTRA has developed a list of COVID-19 resources that can help you understand the pandemic and how it affects your farming operation, and where you can find assistance.