Researchers at USDA’s Economic Research Service estimate that the Paycheck Protection Program provided $5.8 billion to the farm sector in 2020. The PPP was a non-USDA assistance program for small businesses adversely affected by the pandemic.
Total Federal Government payments to the farm sector in 2020 were $45.6 billion, meaning that PPP payments were 13 percent of total payments. The Small Business Administration administered the PPP, providing forgivable loans to eligible small businesses and certain other entities to allow them to cover some of their payroll costs. The PPP loans were forgiven in full if the loan was used on eligible expenses, including at least 60 percent on payroll expenses.
Agricultural producers in California were the largest recipients of PPP loans at $1.1 billion, followed by Washington at $285 million. California leads the nation in the value of agricultural production and has the highest hired labor expense among states.