Baker-Polito Administration Launches Drought Emergency Loan Fund

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Due to the unprecedented drought conditions in Massachusetts this summer, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have announced a Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund to assist the state’s farms and agriculture-related small businesses affected by these conditions.

Farms and small businesses impacted by the drought can apply for micro-loans of $5,000 to $10,000 from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), which will make up to $1 million in loan funds available, according to state officials.

“This new loan fund will provide affordable working capital loans to small businesses, including family farms grappling with a downturn in business caused by this prolonged drought,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Additionally, we are activating all of our business development channels, to remind consumers that Massachusetts farmers markets and farm stands still have top-quality produce for sale, and they have our full support.”

MGCC is responsible for funding the loan, managing the loan portfolio, collecting payments and overseeing all decision-making regarding loan approval.

“We are pleased to offer support to struggling family farms and related businesses hit hard by the drought,” said Larry Andrews, President of MGCC. “Our team will provide prompt review of each application and work to help local farmers in need.”

“This financial support will help farm-related businesses regain financial stability and recover from lost revenue due to the drought,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Investment.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of Massachusetts experienced ‘severe drought’ conditions this summer, while a few places reached ‘extreme drought’ status.

In August, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, issued this information about the drought conditions in portions of Massachusetts.

Officials estimate the Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund will run through November 2016. For more information and an online application, visit MassGCC.com or call 617-337-2803.