EIDL loan portal reopens for agricultural businesses only

By Ken Tysiac

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) portal Monday for agricultural businesses.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today that agricultural businesses are now eligible for the SBA's EIDL and EIDL Advance programs.

The portal reopened as a result of funding authorized by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, P.L. 116-139, which provides additional funding for farmers, ranchers, and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

EIDL loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for not-for-profits. Loans are offered with long-term repayments to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years, and terms are determined on a case-by-case basis.

EIDL Advance loans of up to $10,000 are designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue and do not have to be repaid.

The SBA began accepting new EIDL and EIDL Advance applications Monday only for U.S. agricultural businesses. These include businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural-related industries as defined by Section 18(b) of the Small Business Act.

The 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.

At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted. For other businesses, the SBA stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing those applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal before the legislative change, the SBA will process these applications without the need to reapply.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA's editorial director.

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