Like pretty much anything that happens in Washington DC, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act had a mixed bag of results. On the positive side, it provided some help for citizens who were facing mounting bills and shrinking income; aid to small businesses; expanded unemployment insurance and more. On the downside, there was seemingly little oversight as to who was able to get money from the loan program. The Los Angeles Lakers received about $4.6 million through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, for example. 

Despite the notable flaws, some good has come to small meat processors. Agriculture or economic development departments in Kentucky, Iowa and Indiana have recently announced that funds were given to small meat businesses to help compensate for the business disruptions that COVID has created.

“The demand at local meat processors skyrocketed after COVID-19 caused disruptions in the food supply chain. These businesses extended their hours and added shifts to help local farmers but many of them are still running at capacity,” said Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig. “The CARES Act funds will help these processors expand their operations to serve more producers in their communities, and give them opportunities to explore new markets for their products.”

Hopefully, there will be another stimulus package to help individuals and small businesses. It may come in the waning days of the Trump Administration, or it could come near the start of the Biden Administration. The timing seems to rely on who is in charge of the Senate and what their priorities are. But when it does get signed into law, be sure to take advantage of it. Small meat processors have had a tumultuous year – it was financially successful but mentally stressful. Many companies have had to rewrite their future plans, either to reach out to new markets or accelerate business expansion. There will likely be state or federal funds available to help you. 

Keep aware of these opportunities so that you can react quickly when the time comes. Be sure to pay attention to your state or national trade associations for news that would benefit your business. IP