Farmers market

A new USDA program offers financial help to small-scale growers and processors and farmers markets.

USDA is taking applications for the new Pandemic Response and Safety Grant program to provide relief to small-scale producers, processors, distributors and farmers markets impacted by COVID-19.

The grants will assist small businesses in certain commodity areas, including specialty crop producers, shellfish farming, finfish farming, aquaculture and apiculture. It will also benefit specialty crop, meat and other processors; distributors; and farmers markets.

Small businesses and nonprofits in these industries can apply for a grant to cover COVID-related expenses such as workplace safety measures, retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety, shifting to online sales platforms, transportation, worker housing and medical costs.

Approximately $650 million is available. The minimum request is $1,500 and the maximum is $20,000.

Applications must be submitted electronically through the grant portal at https://usda-prs.grantsolutions.gov/usda by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 22.

Eligible businesses are required to obtain a free DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet before applying for this program. USDA has created a custom PRS DUNS number portal at https://support.dnb.com/?CUST=PandemicResponse.

Application resources, including Frequently Asked Questions, tip sheets in English and Spanish on applying for a DUNS Number, videos on “How to Apply” and more, are available on the portal.

More information is also available through the PRS help desk at (301) 238-5550 or usda.ams.prs@grantsolutions.gov.

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