Schumer eyes aid for farmers

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In ongoing aid negotiations for agriculture relief measures, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, D- NY, noted that his priorities for an interim emergency bill that passed the Senate yesterday, have ensured that farms and agricultural businesses will be added as an eligible recipient for grants of up to $10,000 and low-interest loans through the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, according to a release.

“Since the March passage of the CARES Act, there has been demand from the agricultural community for the SBA to include agricultural enterprises to the EIDL program. With this fix to the EIDL program, farms and other agricultural enterprises under 500 employees will be eligible to apply for SBA grant and loan disaster assistance,” reads a statement from Schumer’s office, detailing the final
outcome of the passed Senate bill.

The bill is now headed to the House of Representatives for a vote.

With the negotiations also come additional funding for the SBA loan program according to a congressional member spokesman.

“In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid,” reads a bill synopsis from the SBA.

According to information from Schumer’s office, as of 2017, the central New York region had 7,537 out of a total of 33,438 total farms in New York State, which translates to about 7 million acres of farmland statewide.

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