USDA Invests $700 Million in Relief to Small AgFri, 10 Sep 2021 09:20:16 CDT
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will soon publish Requests for Applications for new grant programs - the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant program and the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant program - to support agricultural stakeholders who haven’t yet received substantial federal financial assistance in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
These grant programs will provide assistance to small businesses in certain commodity areas, including small scale specialty crop producers and processors, shellfish, aquaculture and other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood facilities and processing vessels. Today USDA released grant forecasts for these new programs to help potential applicants determine their eligibility and to prepare to apply for funding. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants and $50 million is available for SPRS. All of these new programs are funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
“As the economy continues to gain strength after the Biden Administration’s historic vaccination and economic relief efforts, USDA is working with agricultural and food businesses to ensure they have the resources and tools to thrive in 2021 and beyond,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The funding associated with USDA Pandemic Assistance is meant to serve as a bridge from disruptions associated with the pandemic to longer-term investments to help build back a better food system. Financial relief to these essential producers, distributors, processors and other small agricultural businesses is a critical to get our food system back on track.”
For the PRS grants, eligible entities are detailed in the Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program forecast, here. Eligible entities should visit the PRS grant portal, here, for complete information on the program, including how to obtain a free of charge DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet before applying for this program. On September 23, USDA will issue another announcement indicating that entities may submit their applications through the grant portal; entities will need their DUNS number to submit an application.
Updated information regarding the PRS and Seafood PRS programs will be available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website.
Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission of the grant application.
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