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Wednesday, April 8th at 4pm EST 

As organizations across the country mobilize to address the unprecedented financial hardships that farm and food businesses are faced with due to Coronavirus, many are wondering if and how the $360 billion in forgivable loan programs authorized under the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act can help. The Payroll Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program are designed to give immediate financial relief to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the administration of these programs is starting in real time, with new information coming out daily, and confusion remains over if and how these SBA Assistance Programs can help farms and food businesses 

In response to the many questions arising about who is eligible for these programs, how to help food and farm businesses access this financial assistance, and how to advocate for the equitable and accessible delivery of this financial assistancethe Wallace Center will host a Zoom call tomorrow – on Wednesday, April 8th at 4pm EST. During this informal brief, speakers Yolanda Stokes, Jeff Salzer, Aleta Botts, Todd Erling, and Wes King will:

  1. Go over the most up-to-date information on the financial programs authorized by the CARES act, 
  2. Discuss strategies for providing the best guidance and support to farms and food businesses in navigating and accessing these programs 
  3. Provide opportunities for how you can take direct action to advocate that USDA ensures that aid is distributed equitably, reaches farmers selling into local and regional markets, and is delivered in a simple and accessible manner, and
  4. Answer your questions on this rapidly evolving and dynamic situation.  

Please register for the briefing here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You will automatically be added to a waiting room after which our staff will admit you to the meeting. 

Note that due to heightened security risks on Zoom, this meeting will be password protected.  


Yolanda Stokes, Office of Disaster Assistance, Small Business Administration 

Jeff Salzer, Northwest Arkansas District Office, Small Business Administration 

Aleta Botts – Executive Director, Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development 

Todd Erling Executive Director, Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp. 

Wes King  Senior Policy Specialist, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition 

Moderated by Susan Lightfoot Schempf, Associate Director, Wallace Center