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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), member and former chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, issued the following statement after the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications to assist farmers, ranchers, and small agricultural businesses.

“As the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt throughout the U.S. economy, Idaho’s farmers and ranchers have faced acute financial strain, putting the future of their small agricultural businesses in jeopardy,” said Risch. “I’m glad to see the EIDL program provide critical relief to farmers and ranchers so these essential businesses can continue to feed the country uninterrupted.”

Background: Idaho’s farmers and ranchers have experienced unprecedented hardships as the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled supply chains and shrunk traditional food industry markets. Until recently, small agricultural businesses have been unable to access the SBA’s EIDL program. To address these challenges, Senator Risch advocated for legislative fixes to make farmers and ranchers newly eligible for this loan program. The EIDL program, which provides economic relief to small businesses experiencing a loss of revenue as a result of the pandemic, will now be available to agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

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