Executive Order 20-52 and the Emergency Order issued pursuant to Executive Order 20-52 authorize the Department of Transportation to relieve size and weight restrictions for divisible loads on any vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and necessary agricultural commodities in excess of the normal restrictions on weight, height, length, and width restrictions of such vehicles.Read More
Information and updates from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/COVID-19-Information?fbclid=IwAR2RXnLMBmhFcyEnfNpmzXb7799YeEN1ZQcqeKvktcTFkJMf1dEEKmTHaVwRead More
FB Live Event TODAY at 2 p.m. re: Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans
How and When Do I Join?
RSVP to our Facebook Event page here to be notified when the event is starting on our Facebook page. There will be a link to the event posted when we go live OR visit our Facebook page here on Thursday, April 9th at 2:00 PM EST (1:00 PM CST) to tune in to the live event that will be linked and viewable on our timeline.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has roiled the U.S. economy, the Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. In addition to direct payments to individuals of up to $1,200, extended unemployment benefits and federal loan guarantees, the $2 trillion CARES Act provides a number of food- and agriculture-related benefits, including funding to ensure children and low-income families have continued access to nutritious, affordable food and to ensure farmers have the financial resources they need to offset the more immediate economic impacts of the virus. Today’s article reviews the food and agriculture-related provisions of the CARES act.Read More
Please find below information from Commissioner Fried on federal assistance programs available for those in the agriculture industry:
With continued questions about federal assistance for the agriculture industry, we are providing this update on current aid programs and some of the ways we at FDACS are working for you during this difficult time.
Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- PPP loans are designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll and the SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- All agriculture businesses are eligible as long as size standards are met. To learn more and apply today, please visit:https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.sba.gov_paycheckprotection&d=DwIFaQ&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=f3lfR0AwRwDpfvASMTBYig&m=HjmfUXzYibIi7f0K_F_JTcsU-Ws2f3GLsturBbOPy1w&s=A9kR2TkzRvg6eWD-pjesgjM6K8lQSv7W1DoCp6NDP2c&e=
We are continuing to work with Senator Marco Rubio’s office to ask the SBA to temporarily allow the agriculture sector to apply for EIDL loans during this current crisis.
- Until this eligibility is clarified for farmers, ranchers, and nursery operations, only small aquaculture operations, small agriculture cooperatives, and agriculture-dependent entities, such as restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, packinghouses, and distributors, are eligible for EIDL if size standards are met.
Following the passage of the CARES Act, which provided $9.5 billion to directly support the agriculture industry impacted by COVID-19, I also called on Secretary Perdue to move swiftly on establishing USDA programs to get this much-needed assistance into the hands of farmers as well as to immediately exercise his agency’s Section 32 purchasing authority to help Florida producers struggling to move perishable products due to the closure of many restaurants and other food service establishments.
We have welcomed the updated guidance from the Department of State expanding the scope of H-2A processing. I want to make sure you saw that the USDA heard our calls for crop insurance flexibilities, which you can learn more about here.
We will be sure to pass along more information on USDA assistance as it becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage all producers to keep track of all data pertaining to losses/disruptions during this time in anticipation of these programs.
We at FDACS are fighting every day for Florida’s agriculture industry and consumers, advocating for the support and policy changes needed during this challenging time. Please do not hesitate to reach out your regional director (contact information below) with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for all that you are doing,
Nikki FriedRead More
If you have questions about your business being an essential service or would like to request for your business to be added to the approved list of essential services outlined in Executive Order Number 20-91, the Florida Division of Emergency Management has set up a form for you to fill out on www.floridadisaster.org and at https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/c3348d7bc8d041fdb6a19b68ee7960faRead More
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is providing a downloadable template for essential critical infrastructure worker proof of employment for travel to and from work and other duties as assigned for those in the food and agriculture industry. Click here for Press ReleaseRead More
One question producers and other food industry employers have been concerned about since the onset of COVID-19, relates to ease of travel for farm employees and managers within the agricultural sector. Specifically these individuals are concerned about areas that have been entirely shut down, or where authorities may be monitoring travel. This UF/IFAS Blog will provide a few details that may help producers and other critical personnel maintain mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic relevant to locations across the state.Read More
Mar 31, 2020
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried issued the following emergency orders and rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency orders and rules may be viewed here.Read More
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.
Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
The administration soon will release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.Read More