Ag Conversations


The SBA announces it is now taking EIDL applications from agribusinesses

May 05, 2020
By: Bradley Cook

One thing is constant in today’s COVID-19 business climate, and that’s change. Yesterday, May 4th, we released a blog that I wrote at the end of last week that stated that the Small Business Association (SBA) had placed a hold on accepting Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from agribusinesses.

Later that day, the SBA announced that it will reopen the EIDL portal on a limited basis, and only for agribusinesses for now. Prior to the signing of the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, the SBA was prohibited from providing disaster loan assistance to agricultural businesses. The new law opens the door for farmers, ranchers and related agribusinesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In today’s press release, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said, “For more than 30 years, SBA has been prohibited by law from providing disaster assistance to agricultural businesses; however, as a result of the unprecedented legislation enacted by President Trump, American farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses will now have access to emergency working capital. These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.”

In order to qualify for an EIDL loan, an agricultural business must show that it has suffered economic harm as a result of the pandemic and be engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agriculture-related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)). Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.

For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, the SBA says it will move forward and process these applications without the need for re-applying. All other EIDL loan applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

If you need assistance to determine if this program is right for your agricultural business, or if you would like help with the application process, please contact us.

For additional information, visit our COVID-19 resource center.


Bradley Cook, CPA
Agribusiness Practice Leader
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