Today, Family Farm Action Alliance submitted a public comment to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), recommending how COVID stimulus grants should be developed, distributed, and implemented for small businesses throughout the food system. Funding for the grants was authorized in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The comment also offered recommendations for COVID relief in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The comment addressed key issues identified by the AMS that will impact the distribution of grant money including: defining small-mid sized businesses in farming and food processing and suggesting how these businesses could confirm their size. Barriers to applying for funding and specific needs farming and food processing businesses might have because of COVID were also addressed in the comment.
Family Farm Action Alliance’s comment was centered around the principles of anti-monopoly reform, supporting regenerative agriculture, building resilient local and regional food systems, and market innovation. It is crucial that this stimulus money make it into the pockets of the small farmers, ranchers, food processors and distributors who need it the most. Family Farm Action Alliance is hopeful that this comment will contribute to a just an equitable distribution of COVID relief funding.
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