27 Mar Congress Stimulus Package
Courtesy of: Ag Retailers Association
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) advocates, influences, educates and provides services to support its members in their quest to maintain a profitable business environment, adapt to a changing world and preserve their freedom to operate.
The stimulus package passed by Congress contained a number of agriculture provisions to aid farmers and farm suppliers amid the COVID-19 crisis. Find key portions of the bill below to know what kind of help is available to you under the bill from USDA Rural Development, Small Business Administration, and other agencies.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) / OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY – $9.5 billion
The bill provides $9.5 billion in emergency COVID-19 response funding to support agricultural producers impacted by COVID-19, including producers of specialty crops, producers that supply local food systems, and livestock producers.
USDA/RURAL DEVELOPMENT – $145.5 million
- RURAL BUSINESS COOPERATIVE SERVICE – $20.5 million
- The bill provides the necessary subsidy to make $1 billion in lending authority available for the Business and Industry loan guarantee program, which provides much-needed financing to business owners that might not be able to qualify for a loan on their own.
- RECONNECT PILOT – $100 million
- The bill provides grants for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas
- DISTANCE LEARNING, TELEMEDICINE (DLT), AND BROADBAND PROGRAM – $25 million
- The bill provides additional funding for the DLT grant program, which supports rural communities’ access to telecommunications-enabled information, audio, and video equipment, as well as related advanced technologies for students, teachers, and medical professionals.
USDA/FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE (FAS) – $4 million
The bill provides additional funding to cover the cost of repatriating FAS employees stationed abroad.
COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION (CCC)
The bill includes language that replenishes the CCC borrowing authority by $14 billion.
Tax Provisions for Large and Small Corporations & Co-operatives Included in the Bill:
- Small businesses: $350 billion is being dedicated to prevent layoffs and business closures while workers have to stay home during the outbreak. Companies with 500 employees or fewer that maintain their payroll during coronavirus can receive up to 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance.
- Co-ops: The emergency relief bill makes co-ops eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster funds.
- Large corporations: $500 billion will be allotted to provide loans, loan guarantees, and other investments, overseen by a Treasury Department inspector general. These loans will not exceed five years and cannot be forgiven.
- Payroll taxes: The measure allows individuals to delay the payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022.
- More USDA COVID-19 Resources can be found online: https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus
Click here to read the stimulus package details.