COLUMBUS – Time remains for Ohio farmers and agribusinesses impacted by this year’s extreme weather to take advantage of reduced interest rate loans through the Ag-LINK program.
In a speech today at the Impact Ohio Dayton Regional Conference, Treasurer Sprague announced that, as of the end of September, more than 145 new and refinanced loans have been made possible through Ag-LINK for a total of $17.3 million. This is up significantly from approximately 30 loans totaling $3.5 million through the end of August.
“We’re proud to partner with Ohio’s agriculture community and offer Ag-LINK as an option during this difficult growing season,” said Treasurer Sprague. “Whether it’s a new loan or refinancing an already existing one, farmers and agribusinesses can help curb some of their losses through this program.”
The Treasurer’s office administers the Ag-LINK program to help Ohio farm operators and other agricultural businesses finance the upfront operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, and other costs. Treasurer Sprague re-opened the application period for the program in July to help provide relief to farmers and agribusinesses impacted by flooding and other extreme weather.
Ag-LINK provides an interest rate reduction on agriculture business operation loans at eligible banks and farm credit lenders. Through this round of applications, farm operators and agribusiness owners based in Ohio can receive a 2% interest rate reduction on loans up to $150,000.
The application period will remain open until November 15. Farm operators and agribusinesses who previously received loans through Ag-LINK earlier this year may be eligible during this application period if they did not request the $150,000 program limit, or if they want to lower the interest rate on their current Ag-LINK loans.
Those interested in Ag-LINK should contact a participating bank or Farm Credit Service lender to begin the loan application process. More information on the Ag-LINK program, including a list of current participating financial institutions, may be found online.
In addition to the Ag-LINK program, farmers and agribusinesses impacted by severe weather may be eligible for loans through two other economic development programs offered by the Treasurer’s office. The ReEnergize Ohio four-year program provides qualified small business owners with up to a 3% interest rate reduction on new or existing small business loans up to $550,000. These loans can assist with costs related to the repair or replacement of storm-damaged buildings and equipment. Additionally, some small business owners may qualify for the GrowNOW two-year program, which offers up to a 3% interest rate reduction on loans up to $400,000 and is renewable. Under GrowNOW, businesses must commit to creating or retaining at least one full-time or two part-time jobs in the State of Ohio for every $50,000 borrowed.
More information about ReEnergize Ohio and GrowNOW can be found on the Ohio Treasurer’s website.