Financial Assistance Programs for Farmers

woman filling out paperwork

Are there any programs available to help farms and agricultural enterprises? 

If you know of anyone having problems due to the COVID-19 situation, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) can make loans to eligible agricultural producers struggling with financial crisis.  FSA offers a variety of fixed rate, low interest loans to help with working capital and cash flow needs.  Currently, the direct loan program rate is 2.625%, fixed.  If you know of anyone that is in need of a farm loan, please tell them to contact FSA NH Farm Loan Manager, Rebecca Davis at 223-6003 or rebecca.davis2@usda.gov

What records will help me to access new disaster relief programs if some become available? 

From Keith Farrell, District Director, USDA/Farm Service Agency, New Hampshire State Office, James C. Cleveland Federal Building, 53 Pleasant Street, Room 1601, Concord, NH 03301, phone: 603.224.7941, keith.farrell@usda.gov:

If a new disaster program is announced, typical documentation that would be needed showing the financial impact of COVID-19 may be:

  • Comparison of Schedule F profit and loss numbers for 2019 as compared to farm income and expenses in 2020.
  • Sale receipts of unplanned livestock sales because of the impact of the financial conditions due to COVID-19.
  • Receipts for additional feed purchases needed as a result of the virus’s financial impact.
  • Copies of vender open accounts bills unpaid because of the loss of farm income.
  • List of account receivables not received because of the financial impact to customers.

The general rule is to keep all documentation that can help prove and measure the overall impact of COVID-19 on your farming operation.

As a farm owner, do I qualify for Small Business Administration loans? 

SBA is now accepting EIDL applications for ag businesses only.
 
SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.
 
The SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only, in order to provide unprecedented relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. The application is available at: https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sba.gov%2FDisaster&data=02%7C01%7CSeth.Wilner%40unh.edu%7C3a047ea5c31c48a76b3408d7f04c4d19%7Cd6241893512d46dc8d2bbe47e25f5666%7C0%7C0%7C637242082803103785&sdata=bE6z8O9IcwSDGSXPQpw6tr6s%2FDcSHzieJ83UNyxt8uk%3D&reserved=0.
 
The new eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
 
At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received.
 
For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.
 
 

See updated information on the Paycheck Protection Program and other programs available to farmers through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as of 4/7/2020.

*Update, 3/31/20: As a result of the newly signed  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Small Business Development Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are now being made available to farmers and agricultural enterprises.  The rules still have to be written, and Congress has given them 15 days to achieve this.  The following post from SBA explains this.

If you are inquiring about the CARES act, the SBA is currently drafting the implementing regulations which is required to occur within 15 days of the bill being signed into law (the bill was signed 3/27/2020). Only once these regulations are in place can lenders begin making loans.  You can find the bill at congress.gov; however we will be emailing updates and hosting training sessions once the necessary regulations are created. 

Stay tuned and check back regularly with SBA.

For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

You can also access information through a webinar that provides an overview of the program and how to apply.  There will also be a chance to answer any questions.

When: Every workday from 3/20/2020 through 4/3/2020 at 9am and 2pm EST            

How:    To join the webinar click on the following link: Join Skype Meeting   

Join by phone:

Toll number:  +1 (202) 765-1264, 522409519#  Conference ID: 522409519

See Update, 3/31/20

The following information is from Warren Haggerty, Economic Development Specialist New Hampshire District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, (603) 225-1405.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, Farms and Agricultural Enterprises are NOT eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) or assistance. More specifically,

If the primary activity of the business (including its affiliates) is agricultural, as defined in § 18(b)(1) of the Small Business Act, neither the business nor its affiliates are eligible for EIDL assistance even though the non-agricultural portion of an agricultural enterprise may be eligible for business disaster assistance (see paragraph 3.4 G). If more than 50% of an Applicant’s cost of goods sold (COGS) is derived from the purchase of goods from the principals’ and/or affiliates’ agricultural production, the Applicant is considered an adjunct activity of an agricultural enterprise (e.g. farming operation) and not eligible for EIDL assistance.

However, there is an exception: Small businesses which are engaged in aquaculture are eligible for EIDL assistance.

Also, for purposes of EIDL eligibility, nurseries deriving less than 50 percent of annual receipts from the production of nursery or other agricultural products are not agricultural enterprises and thus may be eligible.

SBA regulations define nurseries as commercial establishments deriving 50 percent or more of their annual receipts from the production and sale of ornamental plants and other nursery products, including, but not limited to, bulbs, florist greens, foliage, flowers, flower and vegetable seeds, shrubbery, and sod. This type of business is a nursery farm and is an agricultural enterprise.

 

Federal Tax Updates

For those whose tax return or estimated tax payment is due by April 15, the IRS has extended the period to file and pay taxes to July 15. The deadline is automatically extended, you do not need file an extension to meet the July 15 deadlineYou will not be charged interest or penalty if tax is owed as long as payment is made by July 15, 2020. If you are owed a refund, the IRS is recommending you file as soon as possible to receive your refund in a timely fashion.

Please note, that at this time the state of New Hampshire has not extended the deadline to file or pay the Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax, Interest & Dividends Tax, Meals & Rentals Tax, or any other tax administered by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration. -updated 3/25/20

**Update, 3/31/20-New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has granted an extension/tax relief for the Business Profits Tax, Business Enterprise Tax, and the Interest & Dividends Tax. Additional details on this announcement.