New Stimulus Bill Expected to Provide Agricultural Industry Relief
In response to the economic challenges presented by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, today Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package that will go to President Trump for his signature.
According to the United Fresh Produce Association, the bill includes provisions that will assist the industry and help alleviate pressures caused by a drop off in food service due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Highlights from the bill include:
- Emergency funding of $9.5 billion to support agricultural industries — including fruit and vegetable producers — affected by COVID-19
- $350 billion for the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program that will help producers retain employees
- $562 million for the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
- $14 billion allotted to the Commodity Credit Corp. that will allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use up to $22.5 billion in Market Facilitation Payments and to direct funds to Section 32 for produce purchases
- $8.8 billion for Child Nutrition Programs, $15.5 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and $450 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program to cover increased participation due to unemployment caused by the pandemic
The California Avocado Commission will provide more information to growers as it becomes available.