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POLICY WATCH

Farmers Qualify for Additional Small Business Aid

Nebraska Farm Bureau thanked members of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation and President Trump Friday for authorizing a $484 billion COVID-19 relief bill to replenish the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with an additional $320 billion. The measure also makes farms eligible for a separate disaster loan program for small businesses, including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program of which farmers did not previously qualify for. Last week, Nebraska Farm Bureau had urged congressional leaders to replenish the PPP fund when available funding for the program expired less than 48 hours after the administration issued regulations for participation for self-employed individuals, including farmers and ranchers. The PPP is a forgivable loan program for small businesses with application to be made through SBA approved lenders. The EIDL loans for small businesses are non-forgivable loans with application for assistance made directly through Small Business Administration.

Paycheck Protection Program Q&A Guide for Farmers and Ranchers

Nebraska Farm Bureau has developed a guide to help farmers and ranchers navigate through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). With additional funding now approved, members interested in the program’s first step should be reach out to an SBA approved lender. For more insight on how to apply, check out Nebraska Farm Bureau’s PPP Q&A Guide for Farmers and Ranchers.

Farm Bureau Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Guide

Nebraska Farm Bureau has developed a quick guide to help members get a better understanding of requirements of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL). For more information on the EIDL and how to apply, check out NEFB’s Quick Guide here.

China “Phase One” Trade Deal Kicking In

According to Bloomberg reports, China is studying ways to accelerate purchases of U.S. farm goods to meet its phase-one trade deal commitments after the coronavirus delayed some imports. The proposals being considered include potentially buying 10 million tons of American soybeans for Chinese state reserves if demand from private buyers fall short. The same sources pointed to China possibly fulfilling its annual import quota of corn, which is currently at 7.2 million tons, with the grain from the U.S., and possibly looking to buy more than the quota, potentially reaching as much as 20 million tons in U.S. corn imports. Those phase-one reports follow a relatively large sale of 1,500 metric tons of U.S. beef to China earlier this month. According to AgriPulse, news of another sale of 1,400 metric tons of U.S. beef appears to be more evidence supporting expectations from USDA and industry analysts that China is importing more beef because pork is in short supply and U.S. exporters will benefit. China technically lifted its ban on U.S. beef in 2017, but Chinese trade restrictions limited U.S. exports. Most of those restrictions have been removed, due to the “phase-one” trade deal and China is now offering exemptions to its retaliatory tariffs. A recent report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service notes “many tariff exclusions for U.S. beef have been granted” by the Chinese government.

Last Chance – Vote by Mail!

The 2020 Nebraska primary election is May 12. Nebraska Farm Bureau encourages you to exercise your freedom to vote. In the face of COVID-19, many may prefer to exercise social distancing and vote via mail. Early voting ballot applications are being mailed to every registered voter in Nebraska. Don’t be left out because you prefer not to go to the polls. The last day to request a ballot be mailed to you is May 1, 2020. Please note your application to receive a ballot by mail must be physically signed and you can take a picture/scan of your request and email it to your county election officials. Visit the Secretary of State site below for complete details and deadlines.

More Information Here

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