Senate Extends PPP Loan Deadline; Only 3% of Ag Community Taking Advantage of Program to Date

Farmers and ranchers have more time to sign up for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Senate passed legislation this week to extend the deadline from March 31 to May 31. The measure is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden.

“I think this is a great opportunity for farmers of all sizes, whether large producers or small producers,” says Nick Jellum, an attorney with Anastasi Jellum law firm that specializes in PPP loans. “Unfortunately, it's a program that I feel is misconstrued by a lot of folks in the ag community, thinking that it's really more for retail businesses and restaurants, etc. But it is also aimed to help farmers and others in the agricultural industry.”

Jellum says in 2020 for the first round of PPP, only 1.5% of al PPP loan funds went to the agriculture industry. And so far this year, as of February ionly 3% of farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses had signed up. Jellum says fresh data released March 21 shows 4% of all PPP loan funds have gone to the agriculture industry. While the number is still small, he says farmers and ranchers may be missing out on an opportunity to take advantage of the program.

“I think is a misconception that it's only for large producers,” Jellum adds. “And while the maximum loan size is $10 million, I've helped lenders and small producers with loans as small as $1,000. And let's face it for producers of that size, that makes a big difference.”

Jellum says there are some major misconceptions about the program regarding not only who qualifies, but how the funds can be used.

“While certainly one of the intended uses of the of the proceeds would be for wages, but again, that's not just employees, such as w two employees, but also it could be for those sole proprietors, and independent contractors that work for themselves,” he says. ”I think it's important that the viewers understand that be on payroll cost or wage costs.”

As of March 21, there was $88 billion remaining in the program according to Jellum.

Jellum says the funds can be used for

  • rent expenses such as land rent;
  • equipment rent;
  • utility costs;
  • some supplier costs.

“The funds  in allowable uses is very flexible, and really does I think, aimed to help those in the agricultural community,” says Jellum.

To find out more about how the funds can be used and the steps to take to get a PPP loan, visit www.ppploanonline.com

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Time is Running Out to Apply for PPP Loans

 

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