Leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee urges the Small Business Administration to ensure farmers and ranchers can access new loan programs created in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act. 

Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, and the Committee’s ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan penned a letter to the SBA, stating, “We must take quick action to aid farmers at a time when we need a stable and reliable food supply.”  

The CARES Act created new and expanded eligibility for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to help small businesses during the coronavirus crisis. 

The Senators asked the Small Business Administration to immediately clarify and allow agricultural businesses and farms to apply for loans under this program. 

The CARES Act also created the Paycheck Protection Program to help businesses keep their workforce employed. An interpretation by the American Farm Bureau Federation suggests farmers are currently only eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.