Wisconsin Bankers Association

Farmers with employees are eligible for loans through the recently approved federal Payroll Protection Program. But the program, run by the Small Business Administration, has been so swamped with demand that the $350 billion assigned to the program has been depleted.

Congress established the program in response to businesses’ financial difficulties cause by the coronavirus pandemic.

The loans have been for small businesses, including farms that have fewer than 500 employees. The money can be used to meet payroll expenses, including benefits, pay interest on mortgages, and pay rent and utilities.

Wisconsin is ninth among states in money received from the program at almost $7.3 billion on 31,702 loans.  Minnesota is eighth, with businesses there getting more than $7.6 billion.

Congress is trying to pass legislation that would put more money into the program.