SBA Encourages Local Poultry Farmers to Attend Public Forum Next Week

Poultry farmers in Stephens and surrounding counties will have a chance to let their voices be heard next week at special forum in Gainesville.

The forum takes place Thursday, August 16th from 10a to 1p at the North Hall Community Center on Nopone Road in Gainesville.

Sponsored by the Small Business Administration,Regional Administrator for the Southeast Region, Ashley Bell says the U.S. Small Business Administration is reviewing its policies and procedures regarding SBA-guaranteed loans made to small business farmers in the poultry industry.

“Well Poultry is a big part of the economy in this area and we want to make sure that we bring in key senior leadership from the United States Small Business Administration to have a forum with poultry farmers about having access to capital,” Bell said. “There’s been some concerns in the past that there’s been some challenges for poultry farmers receiving access to capital. So we’re going to bring in the people who are actually writing the policies and procedures when it comes to lending. We want to hear directly from people in the industry. We want to hear directly from poultry farmers. We want to hear people who are on the ground every day and who are trying to get access to that capital that they need.”

According to Bell some of those challenges to poultry farmers includes some changes in the lending laws that are hindering poultry farmers.

“There’s been some changes to the banking rules as far as how long they can get loans. The amount of time that a loan can be outstanding has changed, and that has affected poultry farmers’ ability to get the financing they want,” he explained. “We want to get a better understanding of what sorts of loan models better fit their business model. What sorts of programs we can put in place to make sure they have access to the capital they need. So, the only way we can figure that out is to hear directly from the farmers to find out exactly what we need to do in DC.”

Bell tells WNEG News this is an opportunity for members of the public to provide input in person regarding loans made to small business poultry farmers.

Bell said no policy recommendations or views will be offered by SBA at this forum.

The forum is open to the public but capacity is limited so if you plan to attend you must register in advance by calling 404-331-0100.