Harder to Hold Ag Town Hall to Hear Concerns from Farmers

May 5, 2020
Press Release
Event to Include Special Guest from the Small Business Administration

Harder Worked to Ensure Farmers Can Access SBA Funds

Modesto, CA – On Friday at 3:00 PM  PST – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) will hold a virtual town hall with members of the agriculture community in the Central Valley. Rep. Harder has already heard from dozens of local farmers who have lost contracts or seen severe decreases in demand resulting from the Coronavirus Pandemic. This event will allow farmers to voice their concerns directly to Rep. Harder and get information on federal resources available to support their operations. Last month, Rep. Harder held a similar virtual event with over 300 local small business owners.

This event is open to the public. Agricultural business owners and workers are encouraged to participate. Participants are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time at harder.house.gov/ag.

Constituents can join the webinar with video using this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81322517294

Those who wish to participate by phone can call: (669) 900-9128 and enter the following passcode when prompted: 813 2251 7294 #.

Representative Harder, one of the most accessible members of Congress, has continued to be accessible to constituents even during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Since the week of March 9th, Rep. Harder has held at least one public event every single week to allow his constituents to stay in touch and get help. These events have included telephone town halls, Facebook Live town halls, and a small business webinar.

The CARES Act expanded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to enable small businesses – including farmers –  to access immediate, emergency grants. Following the bill’s passage, SBA issued guidance making small farm operations eligible for assistance through its Paycheck Protection Program but excluded them from EIDL loan or grant eligibility. In response to SBA’s decision, Rep. Harder led a bipartisan effort alongside over 80 of his colleagues to reverse the decision through legislative action. The coalition successfully ensured that farmers are explicitly qualified to receive emergency aid assistance under the program. This change will allow farmers to access up to $10,000 in grants and $2 million in super low-interest loans.