Clearing up some CARES Act confusion

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition offers information to clear up confusion about Small Business Administration loan program in coronavirus relief bill.

For the first time, farm businesses are dealing with the Small Business Administration, which is doling out help in the COVID-19 criis through the CARES Act. Photo taken April 3, 2020, in Fargo, N.D. Mikkel Pates / Agweek

If you're involved in agriculture and confused about potential financial help from the U.S. Small Business Administration during the coronavirus pandemic, you're not alone. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has information that might help to clear up some of the confusion.

The federal government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides nearly $360 billion in forgivable loans to help small businesses pay expenses such as rent and payroll during the pandemic. Though the loans will be administered by the Small Business Administration, not the U.S. Department of Agriculture, many people in the agricultural sector want to make sure that ag businesses can benefit from the money, according to the Coalition.

The CARES Act beefs up two existing program, the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans. It's still unclear how the changes will affect farm businesss, the Coaltiion said.

For more information on the two programs and questions surrounding the changes: .

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