Additional federal support available to food, agriculture, forest products companies through Paycheck Protection Program

LANSING — The U.S. Small Business Administration resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders Monday morning.

This is a second round of funding that will provide an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, and it is expected that this round of funding will be exhausted quickly, officials with the program said.

“We encourage all Michigan food, agriculture and forest products companies to work with their SBA lenders and accounting firms to determine if this program can provide assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “In the initial round, thousands of Michigan companies received support, but we know many more companies are in need of financial support, and we hope this additional funding will provide an influx of capital needed at this critical time.”

The PPP was created by the CARES Act and offers forgivable loans for businesses, including farms, that use most of the money to retain or rehire workers.

Farms are eligible if the farm has 500 or less employees, or it fit within the revenue-based sized standard, which is an average annual receipt of $1 million. Additionally, farms can qualify for PPP if they meet the SBA’s “alternative size standard.”

The “alternative size standard” is currently a maximum net worth of the business not more than $15 million, and the average net income federal income taxes of the business for the two full fiscal years before the date of the application be not more than $5 million. Eligible farms can get a $10,000 grant for temporary loss of revenue and borrow up to $2-10 million under the program.

In addition, $60 billion has been added to the Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan program, with $50 billion in loan authority and $10 billion for grants. For the first time, agricultural enterprises are now eligible for the disaster assistance from EIDL.