COVID-19 Resource Hub
July 27, 2020
We are pleased to welcome customers back into our offices, by appointment only. All office visitors must wear a face mask for the duration of their visit. Meetings will be kept to assigned meeting spaces that will be regularly sanitized. Please be in touch with your local office if you’d like to schedule a visit.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- NEW PPP Loan Forgiveness Information
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
- Mainstreet Lending Program
- USDA Direct Payments for Farmers
- Agriculture Worker and Employer Safety
- Federal and State Resources
- Working with Customers on Loan Adjustments
- Protect Yourself Against Scams
- Tax Planning and Preparation
- Knowledge Exchange COVID-19 Resources
- Customer Assistance Program
Paycheck Protection Program
If you are a Farm Credit East customer and have yet to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, review the resources below to submit your application.
- Step-by step instructions on how to navigate the application process
- PPP Loan Application Checklist
- Kabbage Support Center: 888-986-8263
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN FORGIVENESS Information
For those businesses that have a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, we know that loan forgiveness is important to you and your business. We encourage you to begin preparing now so you have what you need when you’re asked to provide documentation in support of your PPP loan forgiveness request.
The Small Business Administration has yet to announce the procedure details of the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness. Once the specifics are released, lenders like Farm Credit East and Kabbage will have a better understanding of how to proceed with accepting forgiveness applications. In the meantime, here is the most up-to-date summary of loan forgiveness developments.
Timeline realities - The PPP Flexibility Act's impact on loan forgiveness
- All PPP borrowers have 24 weeks to spend PPP funds. (This 24-week period began the date the funds were received; this timeline is extended from the original 8 weeks)
- PPP borrowers have an additional 10 months to apply for forgiveness after the 24 weeks end
- These PPP loan terms and conditions demonstrate flexibility, but require careful attention to ensure continued compliance
Loan forgiveness applications
- Without detailed SBA instructions, borrowers cannot verify key application details
- Farm Credit East and Kabbage are not yet accepting applications. To begin accepting applications, it is necessary to wait for the SBA to clarify these details
- This guidance may not be available until August
Join our weekly, live Q&A sessions Wednesdays at 9:00 AM for those producers who have specific questions and to review any additional guidance from the Small Business Administration. Join a Q&A session here
For a top-to-bottom guide on preparing for PPP loan forgiveness, click here for the July 23 webinar recording.
Other reference material
- For information specific to Form 943 and SBA resource offices, click here.
- For the weekly "homework" updates presented July 8, 2020, click here.
- Visit Sba.gov and Treasury.gov for information on loan forgiveness. It is your obligation, as the borrower, to understand the SBA rules, but we're here to help in any way we can.
Let us help with one-on-one consulting
- Book a time with a consultant to get answers specific to your business on a fee basis. Phone or virtual meetings are available.
- Farm Credit East consultants can also complete your application for you, on a fee basis. Contact us today to learn more.
Economic Injury and Disaster Loans
In April, Congress increased funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants. This bill was signed into law on April 24.
The law also includes an important change to the EIDL program, allowing agricultural enterprises with not more than 500 employees to be eligible to receive grants and loans. Previously most agricultural enterprises were not eligible for EIDL. From when the law providing additional funding was signed in April until June 15, only ag businesses were eligible to apply. The program is now open to all businesses.
Farmers and agribusinesses can apply for low-interest loans through EIDL and may also qualify for up to $10,000 in emergency grants. To be eligible, a farmer or agribusiness will have to show economic harm as a result of the pandemic. The emergency grants are limited to $1,000 per employee up to a max of $10,000. Note for producers who have applied for the PPP, EIDL emergency grants would need to be rolled into the forgivable portion of any PPP loan. Note that EIDL loan documents indicate that producers with EIDL loans receiving Commodity Food Assistance Payments (CFAP) may be required to pay them down with proceeds from CFAP. Additional guidance on this issue is needed.
Main Street Lending Program
The Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) was established by the Federal Reserve to lend to small and medium sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. The loans are for five years and range in size from $250,000 to $300 million. They are not grants or forgivable loans. Agricultural, forest products and fishing businesses are eligible to apply.
Loans are made by private lenders, however, note that Farm Credit East and other Farm Credit institutions ARE NOT eligible to participate. For more information on the program, click here.
USDA Direct Payments for Farmers
Beginning on Tuesday, May 26, the USDA Farm Service Agency will begin accepting applications from producers with COVID-related losses for a wide range of commodities. Eligible producers will receive payments based on calculations USDA has made of national losses, multiplied by the individual producer’s documented production or sales. Click here to learn more about how payments will be calculated for various commodities.
Agriculture Worker and Employer Safety
Interim guidance from the CDC and U.S. Department of Labor released in June provides a control plan template to aid agricultural operations in protecting ag workers from COVID-19. Agricultural employers and management should identify risks and work to ensure agricultural worker safety with the strategies recommended. Visit CDC.gov to learn more.
Federal and State Resources on COVID-19
Farm Credit East has compiled a list of the most pertinent COVID-19 resources from the federal government, state departments of agriculture and the seven Northeast state governments in Farm Credit East’s territory.
Working with Customers on Loan Adjustments
Farm Credit East is committed to helping our customers through this difficult time. We’ve been getting a large number of requests for assistance with loans. We want to assure you we have a number of options for making payment adjustments to existing loans and will respond to everyone requesting payment relief.
To help us better understand your specific circumstances and process your request:
- For payment deferment on home mortgages made through our Country Living program, please fill out the Verification of Unemployment or Reduced Income Resulting From The COVID-19 Outbreak form and send to your local branch office.
- For payment deferment on farm loans, a current balance sheet would help our team members in their efforts to assist you. Please send us a secure email, or fill out and submit your balance sheet using your FarmCreditEast.com Account. Don’t have an account? Enroll here.
Protect Yourself Against ScamsStay vigilant, especially during a time of crisis, when stress can be high and we’re looking for answers. If you've received an EIDL or PPP loan, keep an eye on your accounts for suspicious activity or fraud; learn more at Sba.gov. For more security awareness information, visit the Fraud Information Center, provided by CoBank, our valued partner and funding bank.
Tax Planning and Preparation
Today's Harvest Blog
Farm Credit East’s Tax Talks has the latest information on important tax law changes and their relevance to Northeast agriculture and Farm Credit East customers.
A message for tax clients regarding COVID-19
Farm Credit East is committed to providing you with the tax expertise and personal service that you have come to expect. If your taxes are not yet complete, we want to assure you that our tax staff is still hard at work.
- Working Remote: The majority of our staff are working remotely to limit the potential to spread the virus. Farm Credit East converted to a “paperless” tax process last year and we use cloud-based software for tax preparation, so our tax staff can work wherever they have an internet connection.
- Paperwork Drop-off: If you want to drop off information at the office, you will be asked to leave it in a designated area. Give us a call if you have confidential information so that we retrieve it promptly. If you have access to a scanner, scan your information and send it by secure email to your preparer.
- Virtual and In-person Meetings: Customer meetings are by phone, online or in office, by appointment. We want to meet with you on your terms, so be in touch with your Farm Credit East representative to schedule a meeting how you feel most comfortable.
- Electronic Delivery: Please consider taking electronic delivery of your tax return. We are happy to send your return and source documents by secure email. This provides you with a PDF of your return that’s easier to store and allows you to print a copy whenever its needed. Please confirm your email address with your local office.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act had many implications for businesses. Chris Laughton, Director of Knowledge Exchange, highlights how the FFCRA impacts payroll and tax credits for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic in this post, Payroll Provisions of COVID-19 Relief Measures.
Paid sick leave and expanded medical leave
Sections of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act may impact your business. Your employees may be entitled to leave for specific reasons related to COVID-19 as outlined in guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. These protections apply to all employers with fewer than 500 employees. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from the requirement to provide paid sick leave to employees who are caring for their children as a result of school closings or loss of childcare services.
Display this signage provided by the Department of Labor in an area where your employees can readily see it.
Knowledge Exchange COVID-19 Resources
Recent posts from Today's Harvest:
- USDA Expands Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to Cover More Specialty Crops: The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was designed to help compensate farmers for the market disruptions that occurred in the early stages of COVID-19. Read about the program and two notable exceptions for Northeast apple and potato growers.
- Not Making a Decision can be the Worst Decision: How to make farm succession actionable: There are many reasons to begin your farm business succession plan, especially as you approach your “golden years.” While difficult decisions may be involved, Jon Jaffe explains that making those decisions is often better than doing nothing at all.
- Understanding Producer Price Differential on your Milk Check: The dairy industry has been impacted by many factors during COVID-19, but perhaps the largest is the uncertainty in milk price. Gregg McConnell explains some basics about milk price, Producer Price Differential and producer premiums.
- Northeast Producers Committed to Serving Local Communities: We have witnessed tremendous resilience among Northeast producers these past few months, and as summer kicks into full swing, it’s important to to thank and support local farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products producers.
- An Early Season Check-in for Northeast Fruit and Vegetables Markets: The impacts of COVID-19 and beyond: This post summarizes their discussion on a multitude of topics, including supply and demand, consumer preferences, costs, marketing and labor challenges, as well as future outlook predictions.
For upcoming webinars, visit FarmCreditEast.com/webinars
July 2020 Knowledge Exchange Partner
- Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Information
- President Trump Issues Executive Order Affecting Temporary Work Permits
Customer Assistance Program
As a customer-owned cooperative, Farm Credit East is committed to providing the services and resources that our members need. That is why we offer assistance and counseling services through the ESI Group, at no additional cost to our customers. Visit FarmCreditEast.com/cap for more information.