AgFirst, Association partners team to support businesses and the community during COVID-19 pandemic
As businesses and local communities continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, AgFirst and our Association partners continue to find ways to fulfill our core mission of lending support to rural communities and agriculture. At the same time, we have stepped up our contributions to non-profit organizations that provide lifelines to local communities impacted by the current crisis.
“We recognize that small businesses like local farms and producers are the lifeblood of America,” AgFirst President and CEO Tim Amerson said. “Our calling is to provide the support they need to keep the wheels of agriculture turning. We strive to provide that support in all conditions, but it’s never more important than in times like these.”
To that effect, AgFirst is taking the following steps in response to the pandemic’s impact on small businesses and rural home owners:
- We are working together with our Association partners to quickly enable emergency lending support as part of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. These loans help small businesses keep their workforce employed during the crisis.
- As nationwide unemployment soars, we are collaborating with our Association partners to establish a mortgage loan deferral program that will help keep rural residents in their homes during these challenging times.
In parallel, our support extends to non-profit organizations that help our neighbors in need:
- Since the pandemic began, AgFirst has donated $100,000 to community organizations, including the American Red Cross, Harvest Hope Food Bank, United Way of the Midlands and Transitions Homeless Center.
- We also continue to fund our Jeans Days program to support a variety of local charities. This program typically relies on employees to donate $5 in return for wearing blue jeans each Friday. However, since most of our employees have been working remotely, AgFirst instead is donating the average amount raised each month to the chosen organization.
“I am proud of AgFirst and our Association partners, who have stepped up to continue to help our communities and our small businesses members through these challenging times. Along with other Farm Credit institutions, we remain steadfast in our commitment to agriculture and rural America.” Amerson said.