CCEDC would like to share with you valuable information at this time regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

USDA is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. USDA intends to consider applications in the order they are received. However, the Department may assign priority points to projects if the demand for funds exceeds availability. Lenders and applicants may contact Justin Kirking, Acting Business Programs Director, at 715-345-7639 or

In addition to expanding eligibility to certain agricultural producers, these changes allow USDA to:

  • Provide 90 percent guarantees on B&I CARES Act Program loans;
  • Set the application and guarantee fee at two percent of the loan;
  • Accept appraisals completed within two years of the loan application date;
  • Not require discounting of collateral for working capital loans, and
  • Extend the maximum term for working capital loans to 10 years.

B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses, including agricultural producers, that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020.

USDA announced the expanded B&I authorities in a notice published on page 31035 of the May 22 Federal Register (PDF, 315 KB). The Department will begin accepting applications for B&I loan guarantees on May 22, 2020. Applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Daylight Time on June 22, 2020, or until funds are expended. Program funding expires Sept. 30, 2021.

The Agency also will host two webinars to provide an overview of program requirements. To learn more about these requirements we suggest registration to the following webinars below.

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, May 27 at 2:30 p.m. Central Time, visit

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3 at 1:00 p.m. Central Time, visit