Login | August 17, 2019

Treasurer reopens loan finance assistance process for flooded farmers

KEITH ARNOLD
Special to the Legal News

Published: July 18, 2019

Due to the extreme weather that plagued Ohio farmers during planting season and record rainfall that has continued to hold up any last-ditch efforts, the state treasurer has extended a crucial financing assistance program filing deadline.

Treasurer Robert Sprague last week announced he has reopened the application period for the Ag-LINK program, which applies a two percent rate reduction on loans up to $150,000.

The program can provide significant savings and much needed relief to farmers and agribusinesses impacted by recent storms and floods, a press release detailed.

"Agriculture is the backbone of Ohio's economy," Sprague said in a prepared statement. "But with heavy rain and floods wreaking havoc on fields across the state, we want to make every opportunity available to help offset some of the inevitable losses that come with this level of severe weather.

"The Ag-LINK program can help alleviate some of the borrowing costs for farm operators as they work their way through this extremely difficult growing season."

Sprague's office administers the Ag-LINK program to help Ohio farm operators and other agricultural businesses finance the up-front operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, and other flood related costs. Ag-LINK provides an interest rate reduction on agriculture business operation loans at eligible banks and farm credit lenders.

The application period will remain open until November 15.

Farm operators and agribusinesses who previously received loans through Ag-LINK earlier this year may be eligible during this application period if they did not request the $150,000 program limit.

Those interested in Ag-LINK should contact a participating bank or Farm Credit Service lender to begin the loan application process. More information on the Ag-LINK program, including a list of current participating financial institutions, may be found online here.

In addition to the Ag-LINK program, affected farmers and agribusinesses may be eligible for loans through two other economic development programs offered by the Treasurer's office - ReEnergize Ohio and GrowNOW.

The ReEnergize Ohio four-year program provides qualified small business owners with up to a three percent interest rate reduction on new or existing small business loans up to $550,000. Loans may be used to assist with costs related to the repair of storm-damaged buildings and equipment.

Additionally, some small business owners may qualify for the GrowNOW two-year program, which offers up to a three percent interest rate reduction on loans up to $400,000 and is renewable. Under GrowNOW, businesses must commit to creating or retaining at least one full-time or two part-time jobs in the State of Ohio for every $50,000 borrowed.

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