USDA offers $1 billion in loan guarantees

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced May 21, that the Department is making up to $1 billion available in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the CARES Act.

In addition to expanding eligibility to certain agricultural producers, the changes Perdue announced allow USDA to provide 90% guarantees on B&I CARES Act Program loans, set the application and guarantee fee at 2% of the loan, accept appraisals completed within two years of the loan application date, do not require discounting of collateral for working capital loans and extend the maximum term for working capital loans to 10 years.

B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses, including agricultural producers, that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020.

USDA intends to consider applications in the order they are received. However, the Department may assign priority points to projects if the demand for funds exceeds availability.

Program funding expires Sept. 30, 2021.

Eligible applicants may contact the Wyoming USDA Rural Development State Office at (307) 233-6700 or

USDA is developing application guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program. The Agency also will host two webinars to provide an overview of program requirements.

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, May 27 at 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time, visit

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3 at 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time, visit

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, as well as community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care, and high-speed internet access in rural areas. 

For more information, visit

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