- Granting Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Appropriation Amount: $650,000,000
- Grant Amount: Award Ceiling $20,000, Award Floor $1,500, No match
- Announcement Date: October 6, 2021
- Closing Date: November 22, 2021
Purpose: The Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program provides grants to specialty crop producers and processors, other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, and farmers markets to respond to coronavirus, including for measures to protect workers against novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID–19). This program is authorized and funded under section 751 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (Pub. L. No. 116—260). USDA developed the PRS Grant Program in response to extensive stakeholder feedback during listening sessions in March 2021, and written comments provided through March 30, 2021. Information from the listening sessions is available online at: www.ams.usda.gov/services/ams-covid-stimulus.
Grants will cover the following outcomes and activities:
- Workplace Safety: Implementing workplace safety measures to protect workers against COVID-19
- Provide personal protective equipment, thermometers, cleaning supplies, sanitizer, or hand washing stations
- Installation and purchase of air filters or new signage
- Market Pivots: Implementing market pivots to protect workers against COVID–19
- Develop and implement online platforms
- Utilize online or print materials to communicate market pivots
- Retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety to protect against COVID–19
- Installation and purchase of protective barriers made of plexiglass or plastic sheeting, walk up windows, heat lamps/heaters, fans, tents, propane, weights, tables, chairs and lighting
- Transportation: Providing additional transportation options to maintain social distancing and worker and consumer safety to protect against COVID-19
- Secure additional transportation services for workers
- Offer new delivery routes or distribution services
- Worker Housing: Providing worker housing that protects workers against COVID-19
- Secure additional housing resources/services to maintain social distancing or to allow for quarantining of new or exposed employees
- Medical: Providing health services to protect workers against COVID-19
- Offer or enable vaccinations, testing, or healthcare treatment of infected employees, including any paid leave due to COVID-19 infection
In this first round of PRS funding, USDA is targeting support to small businesses in certain commodity areas, farmers markets, and small specialty crop producers. According to stakeholder feedback, these entities were all significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and received insufficient federal support to address the costs they incurred to keep workers safe and help keep the U.S. food supply intact during the crisis. To target this support, producers, food processors/manufacturers, and wholesalers/distributors denoted in the Eligible Industry Table, and farmers markets are eligible to apply for funding. The Eligible Industry Table details the different business size standards for each eligible industry. The eligible entity types include:
- Small Businesses
All applicants must be domestic entities owned, operated, and located within the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
While USDA is focusing this first round of funding to 1) small producers, 2) food processors and distributors that meet small business size standards, and 3) farmers markets, USDA may expand eligibility in future rounds of funding to include additional businesses not covered by the first round. Future rounds are dependent upon availability of funds. USDA is also focusing this first round of funding on certain commodities due to the unique impacts of the pandemic on their businesses. USDA may expand eligibility in future rounds of funding to include commodities not covered by the first round. For more subsector details click here.
USDA PRS Help Page.