Small businesses in the city of Charleston affected by the coronavirus pandemic can apply for financial assistance under a new loan program put in place by the city and the Local Development Corp.
Mayor John Tecklenburg and Steve Saltzman, CEO of the nonprofit LOC, announced the $ 850,000 revolving loan fund in front of town hall on Wednesday. This is part of a $ 935,000 grant administered by the Federal Economic Development Administration and the US Department of Commerce.
Saltzman said $ 85,000 had been set aside for the nonprofit to administer the loan and “buy out interest rates and offer flexible terms” to business owners.
The funding program is aimed at small businesses in the city, those with gross revenues of $ 2.5 million or less and 25 or fewer employees.
“We’re not epidemiologists, but the economic crisis and community development needs, we think, are clearly going to have a long tail,” Saltzman said. “This program is set up to provide ongoing relief from working capital.”
The loans range from $ 10,000 to $ 100,000 and are intended as working capital loans to help employers survive financial hardships associated with closing or adjusting their businesses due to the pandemic.
Saltzman said the loans were “completely unsecured”.
Saltzman said business owners should have cash flow statements, income statements, and a balance sheet. Business owners will be asked to provide documents on how the business has suffered, what they will be using the money for, and their loan repayment plan.
More information on the application process will be provided after an email or call from business owners. They will also be invited to one of the weekly LDC loan application workshops.
There is an application fee of $ 125, LDC staff said.
Additionally, Saltzman said the nonprofit has a native Spanish speaker on staff.
“We are not out of the woods yet, not only with the virus itself, but with the resumption of activity,” Tecklenburg said. “We have a long way to go.”
The grant is part of federal funding for the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
The $ 2 trillion federal CARES law signed in late March included direct payments to taxpayers, grants to help small businesses keep their workers, additional benefits for those made redundant amid the pandemic, and reimbursements for COVID expenses -19 to state and local governments and hospitals.
The city and LDC applied for funding in June.
In late March and again in mid-April, city council discussed a small business loan program proposed by business owner and city councilor Jason Sakran. Sakran wanted to use the funds earmarked for affordable housing programs administered by the LDC.
This proposal was put on the agenda of the community development committee and was never implemented. Later, the funding that Sakran was looking to use would not be available.
Reach Mikaela porter at 843-937-5906. Follow her on Twitter @mikaelareporter.