Jovita Carranza, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) administrator, recently announced agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) and EIDL advance programs.

The SBA’s EIDL portal will reopen as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the paycheck protection program and healthcare enhancement act.

The legislation, signed into law by the president recently, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by COVID-19.

“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,” said Carranza. “These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains."

Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the legal 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.

Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees. The SBA will begin accepting new EIDL applications on a limited basis only, in order to provide unprecedented relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.

For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA 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 April 15 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

For more information, visit the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov.