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.
- To help farmers and shoppers weather this crisis, MDFMA (www.marylandfma.org) + Future Harvest (www.futureharvestcasa.org) – along with collaboration from other local groups like MWCOG (www.mwcog.org) and Delmarva Grown (https://www.delmarvagrown.com/) – 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.
- Farmers, apply to the relief fund in English and in Spanish.
- Click here to donate to the relief fund!
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.
- View the recording from Wednesday, March 25th 12-2pm
- 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.
- Register your farm to gain immediate exposure to buyers, locally and nationwide.
- Washington, DC Market Maker
- Pennsylvania Market Maker
- 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.
- Connect with PASA network farmers by joining the PASA Farmers Facebook Group.
- Read more about PDA guidance on:
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 Food4All.com.
- 30 year loans to pay necessary and normal operating expenses
- Small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and private nonprofit organizations in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia are all eligible.
- SBA Announces Automatic Deferment of Existing Disaster Loans Through End of 2020
- 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.
- 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.
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you have applied. We will help spread the word to help you raise funds.
- Start a free online Store using Square
- How to Sell Online and Allow for Pickup Orders
- Getting Started With Square Contactless Chip Reader
- For information about which markets are currently open, go to Farmers Markets.
- For information on safety protocols in place at the markets, go to FRESHFARM COVID-19 Response.
- For information on pre-order and delivery options, go to Market Shopping Alternatives.
- For information on virtual FoodPrints curriculum, go to FoodPrints Anywhere.
- For information on how the Pop-Up Food Hub is supporting the community, read this blog.
- For information on how DC, Maryland, and Virginia are managing farmers markets during COVID-19, go to Markets Are Essential.
- To express your support for farmers markets as a vital service, fill out this letter of support.
- To support FRESHFARM’s COVID-19 response, donate here.