COVID-19 Support for Farmers

We are doing everything we can to support our farmers and producers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This page will be updated on an ongoing basis as we learn about new resources and opportunities.

Action Items

Sign Our Letter to Keep Farmers Markets Open!

Join an Online Directory: Farms Providing Alternative Sales Direct to Consumers

  • To help farmers and shoppers weather this crisis, MDFMA ( + Future Harvest ( – along with collaboration from other local groups like MWCOG ( and Delmarva Grown ( – are creating a directory of local food resources for direct sales. If you would like to be included on this list, please answer the following questions  and the information provided will be shared with the public.

American Farmland Trust: Farmer Relief Fund

Maryland Department of Agriculture: Maryland Farmers Markets Operations During COVID-19 State of Emergency FAQ

Farmer Resources

COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide: A comprehensive list of funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other resources provided by the USDA and it’s Federal partners to support rural residents, businesses (including farmers) and communities via: 

  • Technical, training and management assistance
  • Financial assistance
  • State and local assistance

Farm Commons exists to empower farmers to manage their legal vulnerabilities within a community of support. Check out their podcast for more information on how COVID-19 affects farmers’ legal situations.

  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program and Farm Businesses: Who, What, Why, How
    • Learn about the PPP and the potentially forgivable loan which could cover up to 2 months of payroll costs and/or self-employment income, plus a portion of rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.
    • Click on the link above for access to an audio recording, video recording and slides from the presentation.

COVID CALL: Live Video Discussion- Learn How Future Harvest is Responding to COVID-19

  • View the recording from Wednesday, March 25th 12-2pm

 WEBINAR: Food Safety in the Time of Coronavirus: Post-Harvest Handling

  • View the recording from Thursday, March 26th at 12:30pm
  • Held by Chesapeake Harvest in partnership with Future Harvest, this lunchtime webinar will explore post harvest handling and food safety practices that farmers in our region are using to meet wholesale requirements and comply with FSMA regulations.

Virginia Market Maker: Connecting Producers, Markets & Food Lovers

WEBINAR: Ramp Up Your Online Ordering for Expanded Delivery or Curb Side Pickup

  • Recorded and hosted by the Penn State Extension office
  • Ready to ramp up your online ordering? Online ordering is a great way to expand your sales outlets whether you’re choosing to pair it with delivery or curb-side pick-up options. Join us for a webinar on Monday, March 23, 2020 from 7-8:30 pm to discuss best practices, challenges and successes with a diverse panel of farms successfully executing online ordering options.

PASA: COVID-19 Guidance for Farmers and Markets

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: COVID-19 Guidelines for Farmers

Loans & Business Operations

Virginia 30 Day Fund: A nonprofit born in response to COVID-19 to help Virginia small businesses access funds that do not need to be repaid. Businesses that meet the following criteria are eligible

  • Employ 3-30 people 
  • Based in VA, operating for at least 1 year
  • Owned and operated by a VA resident 

The application process is designed to be quick and easy for small businesses in Virginia. You will receive a funding decision within three days. The application can be submitted from your phone in less than ten minutes.

  • Fill out a one-page form (takes less than ten minutes)
  • Submit a brief video (up to three minutes) about the business and its employees.
  • Approval will occur within three days, and approved businesses can expect an immediate transfer of funds.

Hilltop Microfinance Initiative: In addition to offering small business loans and offering financial coaching, HMFI is helping businesses navigate the application process for SBA loans and grants.

  • Speak with HMFI staff about the CARES Act and what it means for small businesses
  • BEFORE taking on a high interest loan reach out to HMFI to go over the details of the loan and posiibly identify alternative sources of funding
  • English, Spanish and French speakers available to help translate documents and assist with loan application processes

Virginia Community Capital: Assistance Applying for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • On April 16th, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is currently out of funding. Applications will still be accepted by VCC, but will not begin processing them until the SBA confirms there is more funding available. If funding is restored, applications will be processed in the order they were received.

Food4All: A Free Tool Built for Farmers, Ranchers & Food Artisans

  • Food4All is specifically designed for selling CSA’s, value added items and farm/ranch goods to your local community.  Your custom shopping page can be linked to a website, social media page, or your e-mail marketing newsletter.
  • Accept credit card payments anywhere through the integrated mobile point of sale.  And know what you sold online as well as in person with complete reporting.
  • Geo-location matches you with buyers searching for local food on

National Coalition of Young Farmers: Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms

North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Online Sales Platforms for Direct to Consumer Sales

ServSafe: Free Food Safety and Career Development Training

Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Maryland Department of Labor: COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund

  • Designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.

Maryland Department of Commerce: Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund

  • This COVID-19 Emergency Relief $50M Grant Fund offers working capital to assist Maryland small businesses and nonprofits with disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Grant assistance is intended to provide interim relief complementing actions with its bank, business interruption insurance, and financial partners. Click here to apply.

Kiva- offering 0% loans to small businesses up to $15,000

  • Please email to let us know if you have applied. We will help spread the word to help you raise funds.

Farm Credit Administration Encourages Farm Credit System To Work With Borrowers

Square: Subscription Fees Refunded for March

Additional Information