Knowledge Exchange

COVID-19 Resource Hub

Updated: February 3, 2021


Customers are welcome 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.

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Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 was approved by Congress and signed into law by the president on December 27, 2020. Farm Credit East's Knowledge Exchange and tax team have reviewed the 5,593-page bill, which both funds general government operations for the next year as well as COVID-19 relief, and provided the following summaries as they relate to the bill's agriculture and tax provisions relevant to Northeast farm, fishing and forestry producers. Click a link below to view a summary.

Additional PPP Funding

The SBA is still finalizing rules and releasing process details related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); the most up-to-date information can be found at SBA.gov.

We recognize many customers want to find out if they qualify for additional PPP funds. While we continue to review the technical information released by the SBA and prepare to help customers answer this question, know that borrowers must work with the lender they received their original PPP loan from.

For customers who received their first PPP loan though Kabbage:

  1. Sign into K Servicing using your Kabbage username and password.
  2. Click the application banner on your Dashboard.
  3. Review the information Kabbage has on file and answer a few additional questions to get started.

PPP Eligibility Tools

Farm Credit East has created a series of self-service tools to help customers determine eligibility. These tools are applicable for first-time PPP borrowers who have yet to receive a PPP loan; PPP borrowers who would like to recalculate their first PPP loan; and PPP borrowers who have used their first PPP loan and would like to determine eligibility for a second PPP loan.

Access PPP Eligibility Tools

A webinar for Farm Credit East customers only was held on Friday, January 22, to detail what you need to know regarding the changes from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA). Farm Credit East business consultants Erin Pirro and Keith Dickinson explained the most important changes to the program for Farm Credit East customers, including how to determine if your business is eligible for additional PPP funds. View the recording.

PPP Loan Details, Including Borrower Personal Information, Released

In response to a federal lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the personally identifiable information of the PPP loan recipients on December 1, 2020. The information published includes the name, address, loan amount, and lender name for each PPP loan. Previously, SBA had redacted the personal information for smaller loans. The court decision, however, compelled the SBA to release detailed information on all PPP loans.

All borrowers should stay vigilant and be aware the released data could be used fraudulently. Closely scrutinize any communications regarding SBA loans to ensure authenticity and monitor your accounts for unusual activity. Contact your lender if you have any uncertainty; learn more about the program data at Sba.gov.

For more security awareness information, visit the Fraud Information Center, provided by CoBank, our valued partner and funding bank.

Reminder to Stay Vigilant

There have been increasing reports of scammers attempting to take advantage of COVID-19 relief programs to access personal information. Farm Credit East reminds customers to stay vigilant in monitoring your accounts for unusual activity and report anything suspicious. Click here to read an article with key tips from Farm Credit East information security specialist Deanna Pellegrino on how to protect yourself from heightened scams.

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. 

Access Frequently Asked Questions

The Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to release pieces of the PPP’s loan forgiveness process. Once all the specifics are in place, lenders like Farm Credit East and Kabbage will develop step-by-step instructions for you to follow so you can maximize forgiveness on the first try! 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
  • There is no rush to apply for forgiveness. Many agricultural employers will not have the required documentation until January 2021.
  • These PPP loan terms and conditions demonstrate flexibility, but require careful attention to ensure continued compliance

Loan Forgiveness Applications

We strongly encourage borrowers who plan to complete their own PPP forgiveness application to read the instructions carefully and in their entirety. A full understanding of qualified expenses, the timing differences between when expenses are incurred versus paid, and further payroll limitations are imperative to an application being accepted and forgiven. In addition to Farm Credit East’s FAQs page with answers to specific Northeast producers’ questions, the SBA’s FAQs detail further questions related to forgiveness. Visit Sba.gov for additional program information.

For PPP loan forgiveness applications for borrowers, click here

If you received your PPP loan directly through Farm Credit East and you are sure your forgiveness application is complete, properly filled out, and includes the exact documentation required, you can send it to Thomas.Daly@farmcrediteast.com. Incomplete applications will be returned to the borrower to complete. Incorrect applications may result in reduced forgiveness or trigger an SBA review before forgiveness is granted.

Note: if your lender is Kabbage (KServicing), or another lender, you will complete your forgiveness application with them.

Need some one-on-one time?

Farm Credit East has a dedicated team available for one-on-one consulting to help answer questions specific to your business or review the accuracy of your application. Our team of consultants is also prepared to compete your application for you. All services are available on a fee basis. Request a meeting to help ensure you’re prepared for PPP loan forgiveness. 

  • 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.

Free Resources

  • For information specific to Form 943 and SBA resource officesclick 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.

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.

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.

Find Your State Resources

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:

Tax Planning and Preparation

Tax Talks

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.

Payroll

Farm Credit East's weekly blog, Today's Harvest, highlighted payroll developments in early September.

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.

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.