BEGAP Program | Frequently Asked Questions
**Last Updated 8/24/2023
Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program (BEGAP) for Farms and Agricultural Operations
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the physical damage categories?
A. BEGAP applicants will be asked to estimate physical damages and losses across multiple categories:
- Real Estate: Includes damage and losses to infrastructure AND land. This includes buildings and damage to fields.
- Inventory: Includes damage and losses to crops, feed, and livestock
- Machinery: Includes tractors, mowers, planters, etc.
- Equipment: Includes refrigerators, washing stations, bulk tanks,
Q. Will this program cover hay and crop losses?
A. Yes, this program will cover hay and crop losses. Even if they were insured, you would deduct the insurance coverage and the remaining value of crop loss would be used to calculate your BEGAP award amount. “What hay, crop, and pasture loss is eligible through BEGAP?”
Q. My cropland was not flooded but the amount of rain in July has made it impossible for me to take a crop off. I will not have enough feed for my animals this season. Can I apply under this program?
A. Yes, crop and feed loss due to the severe weather and saturated soils is an eligible property damage or loss associated with this program. See the next question below, “What hay, crop, and pasture loss is eligible through BEGAP?”
Q. What hay, crop, and pasture loss is eligible through BEGAP?
A. BEGAP is a grant program to alleviate costs associated with direct physical property damages due to the flood and storm events dating back to July 7, 2023. Because this program is intended for direct property damages, there are limitations to total crop loss value estimates that are eligible towards your total BEGAP award calculation. Crop loss is eligible under the “Inventory” property damage category, however, please note that anticipated or subsequent loss is not eligible. The program will consider the direct crop that was not able to be harvested or the forage that was not able to be grazed due to the rain events in July, but not subsequent planned crops or rotations.
Example 1 ) Hay – If you were preparing to harvest a 2nd cut of hay in July but were unable to, the value of your 2nd cut would be eligible, but your 3rdsubsequent cut would be considered anticipated loss/economic injury and would not be eligible towards your total award calculation.
Example 2) Vegetable – If you were preparing to harvest your first rotation of spinach in July but were unable to, the value of your spinach would be eligible, but any planned rotation on that field (3rd planting, 4th planting) would be considered anticipated loss/economic injury and would not be eligible towards your total award calculation.
Q. I am not sure what type of federal funding assistance or grants I will receive, or what my total insurance coverage will be at this time, how should I estimate my net uncovered losses?
A. This is an opportunity to give your best estimate. If you have had some conversations with your insurance agent or adjuster, please offer that estimate in your “Flood Impacts Details” section or upload supporting documentation in “Insurance and Other Relief” section. If you havent received any other grants or loans or federal progam assistance, you do not need to deduct anything additional from your total net damages.
Q. I operate an on-farm creamery, where our products are all produced from the farm. Should I apply under the ‘agricultural’ sector with Agency of Agriculture, or ‘retail’, or ‘manufacturing’ with ACCD?
A. Apply under the ‘agricultural’ sector. Food and farm businesses, organizations, or individuals who raise animals and/or grow food or crops for sale, or who operate on-farm processing operations that have experienced physical damage due to the flooding event should apply as an “agriculture” sector with the Agency of Agriculture. If you have a food processing or food manufacturing business that is not principally your farm products, or if it is organized as a separate business located at a separate location/address, you may submit an application for that business under the ‘retail’ or ‘manufacturing’ sector with ACCD.
Q. I am a sugarmaker that had damage to my roads to access my sugarbush. Am I eligible for these funds and should I apply under ‘agriculture’ with the Agency of Agriculture or another sector, like ‘manufacturing’ with ACCD?
A. Sap collection and the production of maple syrup on your farm is considered agriculture. Therefore, if you have incurred land or infrastructure damage related to your sap collection, this would apply under the ‘agriculture’ sector with the Agency of Agriculture. Additionally, if your business processes sap that is principally produced at your operation, into maple syrup, any losses and damage related to your sugarhouse would also be eligible to apply under the ‘agriculture’ sector with the Agency of Agriculture.
Q. What does ‘Economic Injury’ mean for my agricultural operation?
A. Economic injury/anticipated revenue loss are not eligible towards your calculated net uncovered losses through BEGAP. The Small Business Administration defines ‘Economic Injury’ as the amount of funds you need to stay current on all of your current obligations. Economic Injury is anticipated revenue loss. Examples of economic injury for an agricultural operation may include, but are not limited to; a field cannot be planted as planned due to damage (resulting in loss anticipated inventory), crop can be harvested but may have reduced yield and reduced quality (loss in revenue), delayed plantings resulting in loss or gap in revenue, sales price impacts, CSA shareholder cost adjustments, customer number impacts, return on investments, future year projected impacts.
Q. What is the difference between ‘Inventory’ crop loss and ‘Economic Injury’?
A. These categories should be distinct and separate. Inventory loss is an eligible loss and counts towards your total award calculation, whereas Economic Injury estimates are not eligible towards your total award calculation. Your application should distinguish between ‘Inventory’ loss and ‘Economic Injury’. Inventory loss may include crops that have been lost, were not able to be harvested, or cannot be sold. Economic Injury is anticipated revenue loss. (See ‘Economic Injury’ examples in questions – Q. What does ‘Economic Injury’ mean for my agricultural operation?).
Q. As a result of this wet growing season, I am making production planning decisions that will reduce my income this year into next. Plus I know that my feed and transportation costs will be higher going into winter. Can I apply for this progarm to cover this anticipated losses/increased costs?
A. No, this program does not cover anticipated revenue loss as part of the net total uncovered damages payment. This is considered “Economic Injury”. By the time of your application submission, if you have lost feed or are unable to harvest crops, those losses are eligible.
Q. Do I need to submit or upload documentation under the “Any Additional Documentation” section?
A. Documentation must be included in your application supporting your loss estimates. This is a space where you can upload your supporting documents, such as crop inventory summaries, quotes, repair estimates, invoices, etc.
Q. What is acceptable documentation to show my real estate, machinery or equipment, inventory, or leasehold improvement losses?
A. Documentation must be included in your application describing your lost property types and demonstrating how you estimated your loss. Documentation may be a summary spreadsheet of items lost, quantity, and associated value, a quote for repair or replacement, and/or estimated repair/replacement budgets. Below are examples of acceptable documentation for each loss category:
Real Estate: Quote for repair or replacement, estimated budget of repair materials, labor, or contractor costs, or invoices of actual paid expenses.
Machinery & Equipment: Quote for repair or replacement, estimated budget of repair or replacement, or invoices of actual paid expenses.
Inventory: Summary of crop type, quantity, and value of loss. This may be calculated by previous crop year records or this years’ estimated value of crop type and crop yield/acre x acres lost or cost/inventory x inventory lost (quantity and value of crop lost).
An example of a summary spreadsheet of losses may look like:
A blank example summary spreadsheet may be downloaded from this link.
Q. How will I know if my application is accepted and I will receive an award?
A. You will receive an email notification from ACCD about your application status. Even agriculture sector applicants that apply with the Agency of Agriculture will receive their status email from ACCD.
Q. I am a Individual/Sole Proprietor/Single Member LLC, should I use my SSN or my EIN on my W9?
A. According to guidance provided by the tax department, if the business tax classification in Box 3 is “individual/sole proprietor/single member LLC” the Taxpayer Identification Number provided in Part 1 must be the SSN and must match the SSN in the applicant’s tax return. In this case, since your business is an individual/sole proprietor/single member LLC, tax and grant guidelines require that you only use your social security number on the W-9.
Q. Will my BEGAP award be considered taxable income?
A. Yes, you will need to claim this as income in your 2023 tax return.
Q. How does an applicant update and resubmit their application when returned ‘Incomplete’?
A. Applicant logs back into the platform, completes authentication process, and will select Action “Edit Request”. This allows the applicant to update the application based on the comments included in the Incomplete Review section of the application. Please note there are character limits and upload limits within the application. When in “Edit Request” applicants can change answers, update and/or replace information, and can replace uploaded documents. Additional documentation, such as narrative responses or summary spreadsheets of losses can be uploaded under the “Additional Supporting Documentation” section of the application. Lastly, the applicant will need to re-sign the application and then hit ‘submit’ again.
Q. What does ‘First Come First Serve’ mean and how is that being managed by AAFM?
A. AAFM is reviewing applications as they are received in the online system. If an application is sent back to the applicant as ‘Incomplete’, it is the applicant’s responsibility to resubmit a complete application addressing all comments and additional requirements. Resubmission of a complete application in a timely manner is important to maintaining your position in the queue and eligibility for a grant award.
Q. The BEGAP award caps were changed on September 21, 2023. What does this mean for me if my application was already submitted or if I have already received payment?
A. Effective September 21, 2023, there is a new BEGAP Award Calculation formula in effect to help get more funds to organizations working to reopen their doors. These changes are retroactive. The award amount is still based on total net uncovered physical damages. This is the amount remaining after subtracting any insurance proceeds (estimated or received) and other grants or donations to be used to defray the costs of repairing or replacing those damaged assets.
For organizations that suffered less than $1,000,000 in net uncovered damages, the formula eliminates the $20,000 award cap. For organizations that suffered $1,000,000 or more in net uncovered damages, the formula no longer takes into account the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Vermont-based employees.
A breakdown of the new formula for previous awardees, current and future applicants is:
- 0-$999,999 in net uncovered damages = 30% award
- $1,000,000 or more in net uncovered damages = 20% with a maximum award of $500,000.
Awardees already paid 20% for net uncovered damages of less than $1,000,000 do not need to apply again to receive that additional 10%. They will automatically receive a second payment for the difference. If the first payment was via ACH, the second payment will be as well. If the first payment was via check, a second check will be mailed.
Applications in the queue and future applications are automatically eligible for the 30% award.