Rural businesses to receive loan guarantees from USDA

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIBW) -- Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, announced that the Department will be allowing up to $1 billion in loan guarantees for rural businesses.

Agricultural producers that are ineligible for the USDA Farm Service Agency loans may also receive funding under USDA Business and Industry CARES Act Program.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural businesses and agricultural producers and being a strong supporter of all aspects of the rural economy,” says Perdue. “Ensuring more rural agricultural producers are able to gain access to much-needed capital in these unprecedented times is a cornerstone of that commitment.”

While expanding eligibility to certain agricultural producers, Secretary Perdue also announced changes that allow the USDA to provide 90% guarantees on B&I CARES Act Program loans, set application and guarantee fee at 2% of the loan, accept appraisals completed within 2 years of the application date, not require discounting of collateral for working capital loans and extend the maximum term for working capital loans to 10 years.

B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used to prevent, prepare for or respond to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They may only be used to support rural businesses including, but not limited to, agricultural producers that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020.

The USDA will be considering applications in the order received, but may assign priority points to applications if the demand for funds exceeds availability. The funding will expire Sept. 30, 2021.

All eligible applicants can contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office for questions or help applying.

The USDA is currently developing application guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program. They will also host two webinars to explain the program in further detail.

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, May 27, 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time go to Globalmeet.webcasts.com.

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time go to Globameet.webcasts.com.