COVID-19 PPP Application Deadline is June 30

Recent Changes Make Loans More Favorable to Farmers

Editors Note: The following update is from our colleagues at the Farmers Legal Action Group about COVID-19 Relief for farmers.

The deadline for a COVID-19 relief program that can be useful to many farmers is Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is run by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Farmers who have not already applied may want to consider applying for PPP, in part because recent changes to the rules may make the program more appealing to farmers.

Under PPP, self-employed people, including farmers, can receive low-interest loans that may be forgiven. The loans are fully forgiven if the farmer spends at least 60% of the loan money on payroll costs (including wages and certain employee benefits) over the next 24 weeks. The remainder must be spent on rent, utilities, or mortgage interest payments in order to be fully forgiven. To the extent the PPP loan is not forgiven, the interest rate is 1% and the repayment period is five years. There are no collateral requirements. In other words, even if the PPP loan is not forgiven, the loan terms are more favorable than the terms of many farm loans.

One important barrier for farmers that hope to use PPP is that the farmer must show a net farm profit on a 2019 IRS Form 1040 Schedule F. If the farmer shows a net farm loss on the 2019 Schedule F, the farmer is not eligible for PPP.

In sum, for many farmers a PPP loan can be a good option, and the deadline to apply is Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Farmers must apply through a lender. A copy of the PPP application, as well as a list of eligible lenders making PPP loans, can be found at:

This update and other information related to COVID-19 relief for farmers is available at


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Coaching Sessions Available for Farmers & Food System Workers

June 11 Update: ***Additional dates and sessions added for June and July.***

These past few months have been a rollercoaster of events and the world seems upside down on so many levels.

Chances are good some aspect of your life may not be feeling great right now and we want to be there for you. We may not know what the future will look like but we do have some expertise in listening and helping create order from chaos.

For the next several weeks WAgN Director Mary Peabody will be offering all of our friends in the food system a free 45-minute coaching session (via telephone or video conference). Together, we’ll focus on your situation and work to get you a practical action plan for the near future. We can talk about your business, your family, your health concerns, finances or the world in general – it’s totally up to you.

To schedule a time complete this short sign-up form (most of the fields are optional).

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New Coaching Sessions Available for Farmers & Food System Workers

Funding Opportunity for COVID-19 Response for agriculture and forestry businesses

The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) plans to award a total of $180,000 in COVID-19 Response Business Development Grants within the sectors of agriculture and forestry.

These funds are designed to complement business’s ability to maintain operations while increasing capacity to rebuild and/or recover during this unprecedented time of need.


  • Request for Applications Release: May 15th, 2020
  • Application Opens for Submission: May 21st, 2020
  • Application Deadline:  May 31st, 2020 at 11:59 PM
  • Award Notification: June 15th, 2020
  • Estimated Project Start: June 25th, 2020


Grants will be awarded within the range of $5,000 to $25,000.

Match is not a requirement for this particular funding opportunity, though match of cash or in-kind is encouraged, and applications with match will be more competitive


Applying organizations must have experienced, and be able to clearly demonstrate, negative business impacts due to COVID-19.

Eligible proposals will focus on business response, shifting marketing strategies, or other activities that may improve business recovery. Project activities eligible for funding include:

  • Market development: developing marketing plans and/or sales strategies, accessing new markets and securing new customers, brand development including website design or upgrades, institutional and wholesale market expansion, costs associated with achieving humane and/or organic certification
  • Value-added production: transitioning to operation as a new processor or expansion as an existing processor; transitioning to new pack-size/labeling or enhancing production and/or manufacturing efficiencies
  • Research and development: testing new systems or technologies; developing innovative solutions to production or management issues including accounting, tracking, and/or sales software, (e.g., E-Commerce, Home Delivery or Curbside Pick-up)
  • Operations logistics: workplace modifications to meet worker safety protocols regulations for working lands enterprises compliance, addressing labor force and public health in response to the pandemic
  • Growth strategy: new or expansion of current efforts, expanding consumer outreach and/or expansion of existing marketing strategy, established multi-year marketing plan and growth strategy of the industry represented, with intent to sell goods out of Vermont.

WLEF COVID-19 Response Business Development Grants

Posted in Funding Opportunities, News, Upcoming events... | Comments Off on Funding Opportunity for COVID-19 Response for agriculture and forestry businesses