The County of Hawaii has received $80M in CARES Act funding. $3,992,000 of this funding has been allocated to purchase local farm produce to distribute food to restaurants for meal preparation and deliver meals to vulnerable populations. The county will release an RFP for financial institutions, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations to apply with the capacity to receive $250,000 to over $2 million in awards. Once the money has been awarded, small businesses and nonprofits which have lost income due to COVID-19 can apply for assistance through the awarded organizations. Funds must be distributed to the community by December 20, 2020. Individuals and individual businesses cannot apply if seeking to address only their needs. The RFP will become available starting July 12. A webinar on July 13 from 9-10:30 am will provide an overview of the program. Click here to sign up for the webinar.
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative- Education and Workforce Development
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative- Education and Workforce Development (EWD) focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences.
The County of Maui OED offers reimbursable grants for programs, projects, and events that promote sustainable economic development within Maui County. Projects must directly benefit Maui’s economy. Priority target areas are culture, environment, agriculture, technology, visitor industry, energy, and the arts.
NOAA Assistance is available for commercial, charter, subsistence fisheries, aquaculture, processors, and fishery-related businesses. Business must be able to show harm greater than 35% loss of revenue compared to last year’s 5-year average, while subsistence, cultural and ceremonial fisheries only need to show negative impacts. The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission has received Hawaii's allocation of funds. PSMFC is currently working out the application logistics and will release the application soon.
The Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) Grassroots Fund offers peer-review certification to farmers and beekeepers producing food for their local communities by working in harmony with nature, without relying on synthetic chemicals or GMOs. This fund waives the minimum $150 dues for CNG certification.
The Emergency Conservation Program provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and to implement emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.
This Relief Fund is part of the Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund. They have removed some of the barriers farmers had with eligibility. If you did not qualify before you may qualify now! Please see this fact sheet for more information.
The EQIP Organic Initiative provides financial and technical assistance to organic producers through contracts up to ten years. Producers must have a USDA National Organic Program Organic Certificate, proof of good standing from a USDA accredited certifying agent, and sell less than $5,000 a year in organic agricultural products or are looking to transition to organic.
Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Competitive Grants
This grants program is in its first year of existence and is comprised of two projects:
Planning projects initiate or expand efforts of urban agriculture, including agriculture assessments, the development of business plans and feasibility studies, support for municipal planning, and program development and implementation of agriculture and innovative production in schools.
Implementation projects can increase food production in small urban and indoor spaces, operate community gardens, provide hands-on training in farming, meet specific food and agricultural needs, and provide schools with resources to grow and consume nutritious food and pursue careers in agriculture.
Hawaii Community Foundation is offering grants for projects that address one or more phases of their four-phased approach to community resilience. The four phases are: (1) Risk reduction (2) Rapid relief and response (3) Recovery and stabilization (4) Rebuilding resilience
The NCRS Easement Program provides financial and technical assistance to support wetland systems and associated uplands. Funds can be used to implement structural, vegetative and/or associated upland restoration practices on eligible land.
The Rural Business Development Grant provides technical assistance and training for small rural businesses with fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1M in gross revenue. There is no maximum grant amount. There are two types of grants: enterprise grants and opportunity grants. To see examples of both enterprise and opportunity grants, click here.
The Emergent Fund supports strategies that help communities respond to rapidly changing conditions. They look to fund projects that support community development through long-term economic or social justice.
B&I loan guarantees support business and employment in rural areas by strengthening the private credit market through federal guarantees on business loans, which helps businesses receive loans that they might not qualify for. Projects that receive loan guarantees must provide employment and improve the economic or environmental climate.
Farmers with USDA farm loans who have been affected by COVID-19 can have their next payment set aside. The set-aside payment’s due date would be moved to the final maturity date of the loan or extended up to 12 months (for annual operating loans). USDA has also announced additional farm loan, commodity loan, and crop insurance flexibilities. To view these announcements, click here.
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grants
Two SARE programs are currently open:
•Professional Development Grant Program (PDGP)
This grant program focuses on training agricultural professionals to help them spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture concepts and practices. PDP Grants are limited to $100,000.
•Research to Grassroots Grant Program (R2GP)
Successful R2GR projects will take the research results from previously funded SARE projects and bring those results into the field through education to ag professionals and producers. The maximum for each project's funding is $75,000.
Financial counseling, loans up to $2,500 for individual workers, and loans up to $5,000 for self-employed persons are available to asset limited, income constrained, employed residents who reside on Hawaii Island and have lost income due to COVID-19.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved or created wildlife habitat, and mitigation against increasing weather volatility.
The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) is available to eligible agricultural producers in Hawaii. It provides financial and technical assistance to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.
Kahiau Rural Business Development Microloan Program
Kahiau Rural Business Development Microloan Program offers technical assistance and $2,000-$15,000 2% interest loans for businesses to help them develop and build a network. Businesses must have a Native Hawaiian or kama`āina owner/operator and be located on Hawaii Island or Molokai.
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program provides payments to assist commercial ranchers that have suffered grazing losses due to a qualifying drought during the normal country grazing period. Livestock owners and contract growers who have covered livestock and who are also producers of grazed forage crop acreage are eligible.
Previously known as Hawaii Farm Credit, American AgCredit is a privately-run, agriculture lending company. They provide a variety of loans for land, equipment, construction, leasing, crop insurance, and more from $10,000-$20M.
•Develop and implement short-term education and training programs and/or career pathways programs.
•Cultivate entrepreneurship by supporting the development of small business incubators located on the campuses of, or developed in association with, colleges and universities. These incubators provide, among other things, short-term educational and training programs or continuing education courses to help entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses.
The Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant aims to help disadvantaged groups develop the capacity to implement plans and undertake projects to improve economic and social conditions. Grants must be used to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance are:
Note that the cooperative or center can be located in any area, but the groups assisted must be located in an eligible rural area.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP)
The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) provides financial assistance to producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish due to disease, certain adverse weather events, and loss conditions. It also provides assistance for livestock feed and grazing losses.
This program provides up to $250,0000 grants to support broad, non-proprietary research to address critical gaps in aquaculture economics and market needs that can be made available to US aquaculture businesses and management agencies.The goal is to advance business management to develop a sustainable marine aquaculture industry. Proposals should address geographic/topical needs and fully integrate research, extension, and education.
The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly. The utility then is responsible for repayment to USDA.
America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative Targeted Small Grants Program
This fund provides $20,000-$200,000 grants to innovative food retail and food system enterprises that seek to improve access to fresh, healthy food in underserved areas. Technical assistance is also available to selected eligible organizations in the early stages of food retail or enterprise project planning. Applicants not selected for the grant program may be selected to apply for or receive technical assistance.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers with impacted prices and market supply chains. These funds can be used to support adjustment, additional marketing costs, and short-term oversupply. Farms of all sizes and markets that suffered losses of at least 5% are eligible to apply, including crops, livestock, dairy, and specialty crops. See this fact sheet for more information.
The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund offers $1,000-$2,500 grants to organic producers suffering from extreme financial losses. Producers must have certified organic operations and evidence of documentation.
HDOA provides emergency loans for farmers of up to $150,000 at 3% interest. Loans up to $100,000 will not require credit denials from other financial institutions. HDOA has waived their three-year residency requirements; both citizens and residents are able to apply. Applicants must have devoted most of their time and derive most of their net income from farming. HDOA also offers numerous other loan options, including loans for new farmers, qualified farmers, part-time farmers, food manufacturing, and aquaculture. To learn more about HDOA's loan options, click here or here.
Organic producers and handlers can receive reimbursement for the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification up to $750. There are two organic certification cost share programs: 1) National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), available to producers and handlers 2) Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Organic Certification Cost Share Program, available to certified organic crop and livestock operators