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April 18, 2020, 11:01 a.m. EDT

Shuttered schools, plunging milk demand led to race among dairy farmers to tap small-business rescue program before funding ran out

Compeer Financial, a Farm Credit Lender, secured about $125 million of Paycheck Protection Program funds for clients

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By Joy Wiltermuth

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“We’ve had an unprecedented run of severe weather. On top of that, we’re probably in the seventh year of a commodity price downturn, and you add to that the Chinese trade situation, and now the coronavirus.”

Major U.S. stock indexes were higher Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.85%  up 400 points, on optimism around a possible treatment for COVID-19 patients and after the White House Thursday evening outlined guidelines for states looking to lift coronavirus-related restrictions.

Seven Midwestern governors also said Thursday they were working on coordinated plans to reopening state economies amid the pandemic, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a joint statement with Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza, which called on Congress to provide additional funding for the novel payroll program, said that a combined 14 years’ worth of SBA loans had been processed in under 14 days.

“We want every eligible small business to participate and get the resources they need,” the statement said.

All told, Compeer helped nearly 1,300 of its clients get approved for the Paycheck Protection Program, providing about $125 million of funds across an array of businesses from dairy farms to grain elevator operators to swine farms.

“When we opened up our application portal on April 6, we received hundreds of applications on that first day alone,” Kohls said, adding that its first dollars went out to clients earlier this week.

But he also said a few hundred of Compeer’s clients submitted applications that weren’t yet processed before funds ran out on Thursday.

“We had tremendous interest and significant demand from clients of all of stripes,” he said.

Read : A Bronx bodega’s struggle to tap government loans, and survive

/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
31,496.30
+572.16 +1.85%
Volume: 505.35M
March 5, 2021 5:44p
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Joy Wiltermuth is a MarketWatch markets reporter and editor based in New York.

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