Assistance Programs


Updated 9/22/2020

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Federal Assistance Programs:

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program
Through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products. Suppliers will package family-sized boxes with a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of dairy products, and meat products, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits for Americans in need. President Trump announced that up to an additional $1 billion will be added to the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. USDA will launch a third round of the program. Purchases and distributions of the food boxes will occur Sept. 1, 2020 through Oct. 31, 2020. For more information, please visit:
https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food-to-usda/farmers-to-families-food-box

USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry CARES Act Program
The USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program is designed to offer loan guarantees to lenders who work with rural businesses and agricultural producers to supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for and respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19. For more information please visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-and-industry-cares-act-program

USDA’s Farm Service Agency Microloans
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) developed the microloan program to assist beginning, unique, and small to mid-sized family farm operations with their financial needs. These microloans are beneficial for farmers that often face limited financing options. FSA offers two types of microloans: direct farm ownership and direct farm operating microloans. Eligible applicants may apply for both microloans. For more information please visit: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/microloans/index.

Dumped Milk
https://www.rma.usda.gov/en/News-Room/Press/Press-Releases/2020-News/USDA-Addresses-Milk-Dumping-Authorizes-Other-Flexibilities-To-Help-Producers-Amid-Pandemic
USDA’s Risk Management Agency is ensuring that milk producers who purchased insurance are not inappropriately penalized if their milk must be dumped because of recent market disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For more information please visit: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

Crop Insurance Flexibilities
USDA’s Risk Management Agency is working with those insurance providers to provide additional flexibilities in response to COVID-19. Producers can continue to work with their Approved Insurance Providers, or AIPs, on policies, claims, and agreements. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conduction business by telephone or email. For more information, please visit:
https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

Farm Loan Flexibilities
USDA’s Farm Service Agency is providing additional flexibilities to provide producers with credit options in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, please visit: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

Commodity Loan Flexibilities
Producers now have more time to repay Farm Service Agency Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL), as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. The loans now mature at 12 months rather than nine, and this flexibility is available for most commodities. For more information, please visit: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

Crop Acreage Reporting
Acreage reporting is key to eligibility for many USDA programs, including crop insurance, safety net, disaster assistance, farm loan, and conservation programs. While USDA Service Centers are currently open by phone or virtual appointments only, FSA is still available to work with you on timely filing your acreage report. FSA staff are providing acreage reporting assistance through phone, email, and virtual meetings like Microsoft Teams. For more information, please visit: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

Animal Mortality
While support for livestock is available through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program in some circumstances, limited markets and processing may cause livestock producers to depopulate herds. USDA NRCS offers assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help agricultural producers properly dispose of livestock that were depopulated because of impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, please visit:  https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

Food and Nutrition Services
USDA is granting states significant program flexibilities and contingencies to best serve program participants across our 15 nutrition programs. Below are summaries of actions taken to ease program operations and protect the health of participants. For more information, please visit: https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19

New Mexico Food and Nutrition Services
For information on waivers and flexibilities, please visit:
https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19/new-mexico#cn

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Federal Assistance Programs:

 Small Business Administration Loan Forgiveness
The CARES Act includes forgiveness of loan payments for most existing SBA loans. Once implemented, you will not have to make your next six months of loan payments. https://www.coronavirus.gov/smallbusiness/

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL)
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and non-profit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDL is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments. For more information, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

SBA Express Bridge Loans
Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. For more information, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-express-bridge-loans

SBA Debt Relief
As part of our coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. For more information, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-debt-relief

New Mexico Small Business Continuity Grants
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Department of Finance and Administration announced $150 million in CARES Act grants to local New Mexico governments. These grants are available to small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible small businesses may apply for grant funding through their municipality, county, or tribal government. Applications are currently being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and dependent upon eligibility and availability of funds. New Mexico small business owners should visit their local municipality, county, or tribal government website to complete and submit their New Mexico Small Business Continuity Grants application form. Finance New Mexico has compiled a list of local governments who are now accepting applications. This list is updated weekly and is available at https://financenewmexico.org/funding/loans-funding/grant-loan-programs/.

New Mexico Finance Authority

New Mexico Small Business Recovery Act of 2020
Enacted by the New Mexico Legislature during the June 2020 Special Session, this program provides financial assistance to businesses that are experiencing financial hardship due to the public health order resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Recovery Act of 2020 will allocate $400 million for loans to small New Mexico businesses and nonprofits and an estimated $50 million for loans to local governments. Please note that this is a loan program, not a grant program. For more information, please visit: https://www.nmfinance.com/

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and Farm Aid
The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has partnered with Farm Aid and a coalition of other organizations throughout the west to help distribute small grants to those who are experiencing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These small grants are intended as emergency relief to assist farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers with household expenses. For more information, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V3XGMDL

Additional Resources:

Farm Credit Administration
https://www.fca.gov/about/coronavirus-covid-19

Farmers Legal Action Group
http://www.flaginc.org/covid-19-guide/

New Mexico Economic Development Department
https://gonm.biz/about-us/covid-19-response

USDA – Farm Service Agency (New Mexico Office)
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/New-Mexico/index

USDA – Natural Resource Conservation Service (New Mexico Office)
www.nm.nrcs.usda.gov

USDA – Rural Development Response
https://www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus

USDA – Risk Management Agency
https://www.rma.usda.gov/en/News-Room/Continuing-Interest/Coronavirus-Resources