Nebraska Small Business Stabilization Grant
Nebraska, utilizing federal COVID-19 relief funding, has established a program to help businesses, including ranching, impacted by COVID-19. The Department of Economic Development expects to award grants of $12,000 to eligible businesses, for a total of approximately $330,000,000. The original window of application is relatively short with sign up going from June 15th, 2020 through June 26th, 2020. As this is a developing opportunity changes will and often occur. One such change is that applications of livestock producers has temporarily been paused. Applications for livestock producers will be accepted starting June 22nd with a final application deadline of July 1st, 2020. Awards will be issued to qualifying applicants until funds are exhausted. The funds may go towards any operating expense put towards continuing the business operations. Here are some key points to know about the grant.
For those who operate a small business in Nebraska the guidelines on qualifications are fairly wide open. As of March 13th, 2020 the business must have 5-49 employees. The only other stipulation is a list of ineligible business for the grant are provided. These businesses are: Mining, Utilities, Finance and Insurance, Management of Companies and Enterprises, Educational Services, Public Administration, and Lobbyist and Political Organizations.
Farm and Ranch specific guidelines:
Nebraska owned livestock producers with 1-10 employees as of March 13, 2020 are also eligible. These operations must have closed or sustained a loss of revenue or employment since March 13, 2020. Examples of covered NAICS codes are: Beef Cattle Ranching and Farming, Dairy Cattle and Milk Production, Hog and Pig Farming, Poultry and Egg Production, and Sheep/Goat Farming. For these operations there is a requirement that two-thirds of gross income must come from farming or ranching, and operations must have at least 20 animal units. To calculate your animal units take the number of animals you have times the corresponding multiplier from the table: For any animal group not listed the animal unit can be calculated by taking the average weight of the animals and dividing by 1,000 lbs. then multiplying by the number of head. This calculation is the summation of all groups when meeting the 20 animal unit requirement. An example is if I have 19 Feeder Cattle I would have 19 animal units. If that same operation also has two horses to work the feedlot those horses are four animal units. Together I would have a total of 23 animal units in that particular operation.
Application and final thoughts:
This is a fantastic opportunity to those that are eligible, and in need of assistance. The process for the grant works in a two-step process. First, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development will provide an Eligibility Certification Form and application materials. These materials must be completed within the June 15th – June 26th 2020 time period for most applications. Livestock producer’s application window is from June 22nd through July 1st, 2020. If your application is viewed as eligible for the grant you will be given a confirmation number. Once you have that confirmation number you can complete step two, which is to send in the final application. The Eligibility Certification Confirmation Number, most recent W-4, and employee listing as of March 13, 2020 will be required when you the file. The Department of Economic Development may request supplemental materials from applicants. Helpful guides and videos can be found on the Department of Economic Development’s website.