The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday that the state’s Business Interruption Grants would be available to the state’s livestock farmers. Livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive the grants, and the application period is open now through October 31st.
Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that $5 million would be available through 3 separate programs through IDOA. The first is the Swine Depopulation Program, which covers up to $10,000 in expenses for depopulating and disposing of livestock in response to coronavirus disruptions to the market on or after April 15th.
The second is the Agriculture Business Interruption Program, which covers monetary losses and expenses up to $10,000 for livestock producers who were forced to hold livestock or livestock-related products due to COVID-19 between April 15th and May 15th.
The third is the Meat and Poultry Capacity Program, which covers operating and facility improvement costs associated with COVID-19 shutdowns or mitigating capacity reductions for businesses with 60 or fewer employees, up to $25,000.
Acting Director of IDOA, Jerry Costello II says that it’s a way for the state to take care of Illinois livestock farmers who faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 shutdowns: “I’m proud of the way Illinois’ farmers and small business and commodity groups came together to keep the food chain secure. These dollars enable farmers’ continuity of operations while providing our small meat and poultry plants the ability to make necessary improvements to expand animal throughput and capacity.”
Individuals and businesses are only eligible to apply for one program, and applicants located in a disproportionately impacted area will receive a 10% increase in funding.