Paycheck Protection Program lends a financial hand to those in the agriculture business

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The second go around to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program is now open, but the state of South Dakota is finding that many agriculture businesses are not taking advantage, only accounting for less than 2% of the total PPP lending.

The second round for the Paycheck Protection Program started on January 11 and has some changes from the first round that helps those in the agriculture business get more funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Dakota Market President for First Interstate Bank, Shawn Rost said, “The most significant change is they now allow the agricultural producers to use their gross revenue versus net income and that basically enabled all agricultural producers to qualify or the majority of them to qualify for the program.”

Agriculture is the number one industry in the state of South Dakota. Which is why its so important to help keep those involved in the industry with a sustainable in spite of the pandemic and any other struggles the may face.

Rost also said, “They’ve had four to five years of depressed commodities prices, we’ve had some dry weather, they’ve suffered in a lot of different ways. And then the pandemic hits and they need some help. And this is a great program to really help them get some money and its had a great impact on our economy all across the state of South Dakota.”

Those not involved in ag-related businesses wishing to apply for PPP are required to show a 25% decrease in revenue in the years 2019 to 2020 for any one single quarter to qualify. But for agricultural producers they will just look at their gross income to qualify.

“Another great thing that changed with the latest round of the program is our hospitality industry which is restaurants, hotels, motels. Which is obviously a great economic power in the Black Hills. They’re able to qualify for 3.5 times their monthly payroll now with the new program versus 2.5 times their monthly payroll on the old program,” said Rost.

First Interstate Bank has made applying for the Paycheck Protection Program all online to protect customers and employees from the pandemic.

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