Small Businesses Targeted For Loans Coronavirus

Crawford County wishes to make long-term, interest-free working capital loans available to small businesses in the county.

County commissioners would use $ 300,000 in Community Development Grant (CDBG) funds for loans targeting independent businesses.

“We can do 40 businesses at $ 7,500 (each). That’s a 10-year interest-free loan,” Eric Henry, chairman of the county commissioners, said Tuesday. Eligible small businesses would only need to make an annual payment of $ 750.

The official announcement of the program with its guidelines is expected no later than early next week, according to Zach Norwood, county planning director. The information will then be posted on the Crawford County website, crawfordcountypa.net. Funding requests will be taken until July 31, he said.

Companies that have received federal or state funding due to the pandemic will not be eligible for that funding, Norwood added.

The loan pool will be funded with $ 120,000 in CDBG 2020 coronavirus funds, plus an additional $ 180,000 in previous CDBG annual funds that will be redirected to the loan pool.

“This program is really targeting businesses that have not received any help due to COVID-19,” Norwood said. “You can’t have a duplication of benefits. “

The county solicits requests for proposals to have loan applications assessed.

“The federal government and the state require a viable business to get the funding,” Norwood said.

Businesses with up to 100 employees will be able to apply, but the county is looking to target small businesses – those with 15 or fewer workers.

“One of our goals was to focus on small businesses – hair salons, small business owners, small restaurants – small independent businesses have hit hard,” Henry said. “This money can be used for rent, utilities and 90 days of supplies.”

The county’s planned small business assistance loan program will be part of a public meeting on the proposed use of the 2020 CDBG coronavirus funds as well as changing the uses of the 2018 CDBG funds. The meeting takes place Monday at 1:30 p.m. at Crawford County Courthouse, 903 Diamond Park, Meadville, second floor of Old Courtroom 3.

• More information on the loan program: Contact the Crawford County Planning Office at (814) 333-7341 or by email at [email protected].

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at [email protected].

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