The following is a story from the March 2021 edition of our First on the Farm Newsletter.
As we are putting this newsletter together, we are in the middle of one of the longest cold snaps in 25 years. It seems like spring couldn’t be farther away. But, before we know it, we’ll all be back out in fields planting or working on any of the other busy projects that spring on the farm brings.
Right now, though, our ag team is working hard to stay up to date on the latest and greatest government programs for COVID-19 relief. A lot has changed since our last newsletter in October, so we wanted to provide some updates.
First of all, there have been substantial changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). You might remember this loan program from the early days of the pandemic, which offered forgivable loans to businesses suffering from the effects of COVID-19. The first version of the program made qualifying somewhat difficult for farmers, but new legislation signed into law on December 27, 2020, made qualifying easier for farmers in a couple different ways. For one, there are no revenue reduction requirements. In addition, Schedule F sole proprietors can use gross farm income to determine loan amounts.
As a reminder, these loans offer the opportunity for 100% forgiveness if you meet certain conditions. The chance for a forgivable loan doesn’t come around very often, so we’d encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to benefit your operation. Visit our website www.fnbsf.com/business/paycheck-protection-program/ to learn more and apply. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your banker or email our SBA Hub.
Outside of PPP, there have been a few other developments in government relief programs with the turnover in presidential administrations.
On January 15, President Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Purdue announced $2.3 billion in additional aid to livestock producers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). However, those funds were suspended shortly after the inauguration of President Biden. At this time, new and altered applications are being accepted by the Farm Service Agency but will not be funded unless the new administration releases those funds.
The only other news surrounding government relief programs was the halting and delay of foreclosure and collections of past due Commodity Credit Corporation loans until 2022.
Just like all of you, we’re looking forward to the end of this pandemic and returning to life as normal! Until then, we’ll be here to support your operation and answer any questions you have about these programs.