What resources are available to local producers?
Congress provided financial assistance to farmers who are experiencing severe financial losses during the pandemic. This includes a $9.5 billion dedicated disaster fund for specialty crop, dairy, livestock, and local food producers. Farmers and agricultural and rural businesses are eligible to receive funding through small business interruption loans from eligible lenders, and for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides further information on PPP eligibility for farmers HERE.
Additional information and resources can be found through the following agencies and organizations:
Congress provided $300 million in fishery disaster assistance to assist a broad spectrum of fishery participants who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Rhode Island was recently allocated $3,294,234 through this fund. States are now awaiting further guidance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on how these funds can be spent, before they are distributed within the state. You can read more about the status of these funds HERE.
Furthermore, the USDA recently announced that it would purchase $70 million in seafood, including $20 million for Atlantic seafood such as Atlantic Haddock, Pollock, and Redfish, as part of its COVID-19 response.
Additional information and resources can be found through the following organizations: