Representing the needs of aquaculture and the environment

SBA Loans and Other News

It is a little overwhelming to deal with the flood of local, regional and national news and legislation coming out. We are doing our best to digest and process and pass along what we feel is accurate and helpful to our members. It is obviously a two-way street and we need to hear from members what is going on, what you are experiencing, what programs are working for you. You are probably getting surveyed to death, but the survey data provides us with information that we can use to influence lawmakers as they create programs designed to benefit us. So please take the time to chime in.

The leaders of the regional aquaculture associations have instituted weekly calls to compare notes and evaluate information as it comes in. Special kudos to Paul Zajicek of the National Aquaculture Association (NAA), who has been in touch with folks from the Small Business Administration (SBA), USDA and NOAA, and has been sending out a steady stream of information on various relief programs and opportunities. If you find this information valuable please support the organizations that are doing our best to support your businesses. ECSGA dues have slowed to a trickle and all of the associations are on life support.

The NAA has communicated with the SBA and they have $7 billion from bills passed a month ago. They are fielding thousands of calls a day and will take your info and assign you a case officer to get you started. This is not the CARES Act, which is being debated and hopefully passes the House tonight.

This is from Paul Zajicek:

The National Aquaculture Association hosted a conference call with the Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Disaster Assistance, yesterday specific to the SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Loan Program. This program is available now.

Principle points of interest relative to the call:

  • The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Loan Program was signed into law a month ago and funded at $7 billion. 
  • Aquaculture is included in this program. Farms that produce row crops or agriculture livestock in addition to aquaculture are not eligible. Mixed aquaculture and other farming activities are eligible for Farm Service Agency Loans. Unless each farm is a distinct legal entity. Ask SBA about your operations by calling 800-659-2955.
  • Callers who are seeking economic assistance in the form of a loan were encouraged to apply now.
  • Loans can be for up to $2 million and over a 30-year period.
  • The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
  • Loan terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • Payments on the loan can be deferred for the first year while you are getting your feet back on the ground following the crisis.
  • Certain application requirements are being relaxed to assist COVID-19 impacted businesses. Do not assume agency practices and requirements of the past are being implemented currently.

Michael Lampton is available to answer your questions.  Please contact him at Michael.Lampton@sba.gov.  For Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Loan Program information or to apply click here.

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