by Mike Johanns, Former U.S Secretary of Agriculture, Former Nebraska Governor & Former U.S. Senator; alliantgroup Chairman of Agriculture
April 28, 2020
There’s no denying that our country is facing troubling times.
And as with many other national emergencies, the American farmer has continued to work day in and day out to provide the world with the food we need to thrive.
That responsibility is a heavy burden for farms across the U.S., which like any other business in the country is hurting.
Congress recently passed several phases of relief so that individuals and businesses alike can receive some much needed support during these trying times.
The CARES Act, for instance, was the premier piece of legislation that Congress passed in terms of coronavirus aid. The historic bill offered $2.2 trillion in assistance, including $349 billion in loan commitments as part of the Paycheck Protection Loan Program (PPP).
That $349 billion was exhausted within the first two weeks of the program, however Congress just allocated an additional $320 billion for the program that is now available for companies across the country.
To be clear, this includes agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers, who should strongly consider applying for the program as a way to see their way through this pandemic.
These loans (which will have an interest rate of no more than 4 percent) are for companies that have 500 employers or less, and are limited to either $10 million or 2.5 times the average monthly payroll, whichever is less.
What those in the agriculture industry also need to know is that cooperatives are also eligible to receive PPP loans as long as other PPP eligibility requirements are met.
These loans can be used to cover payroll along with other business expenses, and can be a tool for those in the agriculture industry to use to push back against this unrelenting pandemic.
The American farmer has always been integral to the success of our country and its economy. During these unprecedented times it’s crucial that all options are considered in order to see things through to the other side.
For more information on the PPP visit the Small Business Administration’s website here.
About the Author
Mike Johanns was the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 2005-2007 as well as the Governor of Nebraska from 1999-2005 and the state’s U.S. Senator from 2009-2015. As alliantgroup’s Chairman of Agriculture, Johanns brings more than 30 years of experience at virtually every level of government and a strong background in both agriculture and economic development. As the Secretary of Agriculture, he managed 18 different agencies, opened or expanded access to 40 international markets and was responsible for multiple agricultural breakthroughs as a negotiator for the Doha Development Round.