CARES funds available to Nebraska small businesses and livestock producers

UPDATE Tuesday, June 16: The application process for Small Business Stabilization Grants for Livestock Producers has been paused until Monday, June 22. Applications will not be accepted during this pause, which will provide the Nebraska Department of Economic Development time to validate all applications in a timely manner and avoid potential delays to serving grantees, according to a press release.

Applications will be accepted once again starting Monday, June 22, at 8 a.m. CT. To account for the scheduled delay, the application deadline has been extended to July 1, 2020, at 5 p.m. CT.

Visit getnebraskagrowing.nebraska.gov in advance of Monday’s application re-opening for instructions on how to apply for a Small Business Stabilization Livestock Producer Grant. Potential applicants are encouraged to review the application guidelines and eligibility requirements, which are also available online, prior to applying.


On Friday, June 12, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced details of the Nebraska Small Business Stabilization Grant, which provides financial assistance to Nebraska-owned small businesses and livestock producers that have been severely impacted by COVID-19.

“Small businesses and livestock producers across the state have been impacted by COVID-19, with many experiencing closures, occupancy restrictions, the loss of consumer traffic, and decreased demand,” states the Nebraska Department of Economic Development website. “This has translated into dramatic reductions in revenue. Small businesses and ag are the lifeblood of the Nebraska economy, and their continued survival and growth are paramount.”

The Nebraska Small Business Stabilization Grant allocates $330 million in working capital to help cover operating expenses for small businesses and livestock producers. The Department of Economic Development expects to award individual grants of $12,000 to eligible businesses.

Eligibility forms and applications are available from Monday, June 15, to Friday, June 26, at http://getnebraskagrowing.nebraska.gov/ or call 855.264.6858. The Eligibility Certification Form must be completed first. Once the Department of Economic Development certifies the form, the business can proceed with the application. Awards will be issued to qualifying applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are exhausted.

Who is eligible? Nebraska-owned businesses with 5 to 49 employees as of March 13, 2020, that have closed or sustained a loss of revenue or employment since March 13, 2020, are eligible to apply. All industries are eligible except: mining; utilities; finance and insurance; management of companies and enterprises; educational services; public administration; and lobbyist and political organizations.

Nebraska-owned livestock producers with 1 to 10 employees as of March 13, 2020, that have closed operations or sustained a loss of revenue or employment since March 13, 2020, are also eligible. The following are allowed: beef cattle ranching and farming; dairy cattle and milk production; hog and pig farming; poultry and egg production; and sheep/goat farming. To be eligible, livestock producers must have at least 20 animal units.

Funding for the Nebraska Small Business Stabilization Grant comes from federal COVID-19 relief funding, or the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The State of Nebraska will provide transparent reporting, and the names of recipients will be made public.

Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project staff is available for business owners in need of assistance in applying for these funds. Click here to find the loan specialist in your area, or call 402.687.2100. Services are available in both English and Spanish.