On March 27th, the U.S. House passed the U.S. Senate’s $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, sending to the President’s desk a relief package that will help address the devastating physical and financial distress caused by the COVID-19 virus and response. Read the entire bill here.
There is great news for hemp farmers as well as small businesses in the hemp space. While the word “hemp” does not appear in the bill, economic relief is available for the hemp industry through some of the following provisions:
- $349 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Business Loans Program Account
- $17 billion for the SBA’s Business Loans Program Account for payment of covered loans guaranteed by SBA under the Small Business Act
- $10 billion for SBA’s Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans program
- $265 million for SBA’s Entrepreneurial Development Program
- $9.5 billion to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for providing support for impacted agricultural producers, including producers of specialty crops
- $20.5 million to the Rural Business Program Account for the cost of loans for rural business development programs under the Farm and Rural Development Act
- In general, those with federally-backed mortgaged loans secured by USDA may request forbearance for up to 180 days, during which no fees, penalties, or interest will accrue
It is important to note that under this SBA policy guidance, unlike direct marijuana businesses, legal hemp small businesses are explicitly eligible for SBA’s assistance programs.
The USDA is expected to release more information about how farmers and businesses can apply for that agency’s COVID-19 programs at this website in the coming days.
We will keep Hemp Supporters updated as circumstances develop. Please stay safe and healthy!
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