WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Greg Stanton joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to urge the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to take prompt action to extend emergency coronavirus relief to small farms. 

The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, expands the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to offer immediate assistance to small businesses and establishes a Paycheck Protection Program to allow businesses to continue paying employees and cover additional costs.

After the bill was signed into law, the SBA issued guidance that excludes small agricultural producers from taking advantage of these resources, which puts further strain on small agricultural producers.  This guidance is contrary to the intent of Congress, Stanton said.

“Arizona farmers are integral to our local and state economy and are working overtime to maintain our food supply during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Stanton. “The Small Business Administration must immediately amend its language and allow small farmers to access this critical emergency aid.” 

Eighty-six members co-signed the letter, which was addressed to SBA administrator Jovita Carranza.

Read the full letter here.