McSally seeks eligibility for U.S. farmers under CARES Act disaster loan program

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) last week requested that updated guidance be issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to allow the nation’s farmers to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) under the coronavirus relief bill.

“During such unprecedented times, we urge you to ensure that agricultural businesses and farmers are eligible for the EIDL program,” Sen. McSally wrote in an April 15 letter sent to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Our nation’s farmers and small businesses have been on the frontlines doing their jobs for the American people. Now more than ever, we must be looking out for these rural, small businesses that feed Americans.”

Sen. McSally, who was joined in signing the letter by U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), stressed that Congress intended for farmers to be included in the expanded group of business owners eligible for EIDL under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“While farms have not traditionally been eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans under the previous law, CARES creates new requirements for an EIDL program specific to COVID-19 for a limited time,” wrote Sen. McSally and her colleague. “This expansion of eligibility does not explicitly exclude farms and it is our understanding Congress intended farms to qualify should they meet the criteria for eligibility.”

Sen. McSally and Sen. Sinema urged the SBA administrator to revise the guidance so agricultural businesses may seek loans under the new EIDL.