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Farmers missing out on small business coronavirus relief package, Congress says

Published April 7, 2020 | By Laura Drotleff

"Farmers who say they’re not getting needed assistance from federal coronavirus relief are looking to Congress to change an oversight keeping them from accessing help from the Small Business Administration.

Eighty-six members of Congress wrote to SBA administrator Jovita Carranza on Thursday asking for “immediate attention and swift action” to ensure that farms receive1 the economic relief they need through the CARES Act,2 a law passed in March to ease unprecedented pressure placed on the economy during the coronavirus outbreak.

The law should apply to legal hemp producers3 just as it does any other farmers. But the entire farm sector says that SBA paperwork excludes them.

...

It’s not unusual that the SBA excluded farms from the coronavirus relief emergency loan package, as farmers are typically included in – and expected to apply for – any available U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster funding, according to Herrick Fox, co-owner of Meristem Farms in Vermont.

But he told Hemp Industry Daily that CARES Act funding did not follow traditional channels.

“In the case of the coronavirus, there appears to be no disaster declaration by the secretary of agriculture, or other agriculture-specific disaster funding authorized by the CARES Act, so Congress is working to clarify to SBA its apparent intent that farms should be included in the [Emergency Injury Disaster Loan] offered through SBA in this case,” Fox said."

Read the rest of the article on Hemp Industry Daily: https://tinyurl.com/hempindustrydaily

1. https://tinyurl.com/hempdaily

2. https://tinyurl.com/covidhemphelp

3. https://tinyurl.com/federalaidhemp