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SBA disaster loan program opens to ag businesses


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The U.S. Small Business Administration opened applications Monday for agricultural businesses in New Mexico to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), according to a press release from the state Economic Development Department.

The loan program has been closed to agricultural businesses for 30 years, but authorizing legislation by Congress allows the loans as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said.

Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture, said that New Mexico has 24,800 farms and ranches in the state, and most are seeing some negative impact from the COVID-19 health emergency.

“I highly encourage New Mexico farmers and ranchers to apply for the economic relief offered by the SBA for this program,” Witte said.

Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching and raising livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries. Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.

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Under the EIDL program, a small business can borrow up to $2 million, with an immediate grant advance up to $10,000 that can be distributed in three days, according to the press release.

Unlike other SBA programs, no bank or community lender is necessary for the EIDL program, according to the press release. Applications are filed directly with the agency at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance, or go to https://www.sba.gov/ for more information.


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