*From SMADC*

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, announces new Pandemic Assistance for Southern Maryland farmers.

SMADC is partnering with the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) on their new Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund Program, specifically to assist Southern Maryland food and fiber producers, harvesters and primary processors adjust to business disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The program is targeted to assist existing agriculture or resource based enterprises in making timely adjustments to their operations and to help them take advantage of new or continuing market opportunities.

Eligible farms and rural businesses can apply directly to MARBIDCO for loans up to $3,000 in working capital and up to $10,000 for equipment purchases at low interest rates with flexible terms. Loan repayments will be interest only for five months followed by payments for 12 to 36 months, with a rate of 3.75%. Borrowers who make all their payments will receive a 10% grant back (of the original amount borrowed) at the end of the loan term.

Southern Maryland loan recipients will receive a grant of an additional 5% of the loan amount from SMADC funds. The grant will be turn-key and administered seamlessly through MARBIDCO.

“SMADC is happy to be partnering again with MARBIDCO, and we’re glad to be able to quickly offer assistance to Southern Maryland farmers through the Pandemic Loan fund and hope many farmers will be able to take advantage of it,” said Shelby Watson-Hampton, Director of SMADC. Loan applications are due by May 31, 2020, and can be found on MARBIDCO’s website at MARBIDCO.ORG.

About the Maryland Agricultural & Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation

MARBIDCO’s mission is to help Maryland’s farm, forestry, and seafood businesses achieve sustainability and profitability through the provision of targeted business assistance and financial services that helps retain existing resource-based industry production and commerce, promotes rural and urban-edge entrepreneurship and nurtures emerging food/feed/fiber industries.

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The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, is committed to: a) a market-driven and sustainable farming future as Maryland transitions away from tobacco. b) a Maryland where farmland preservation, and environmental stewardship positively impact the quality of our air and water and c) cultivating awareness among consumers and leaders of the vital role our farms play in a balanced community, safe, nutritious food and a cleaner and healthier environment. To learn more about additional programs and resources, contact SMADC, P. O. Box 745, Hughesville, MD 20637; phone: 240-528-8850, fax: 301-274-1924; email info@smadc.com ; or visit www.smadc.com.

Contact: Shelby Watson-Hampton
Director, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC)
swatsonhampton@smadc.com
(240) 528-8850