City of Saint Helena to Offer Interest-Free Loans to Pandemic Affected Businesses | New



Downtown Saint Helena was largely deserted in April during the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure had serious consequences for local businesses.

Star File Photo

Small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for interest-free municipal loans under a program approved by city council on Tuesday.

The council has allocated $ 300,000 to the Small Business Sustainability Loan Program (SBS), which will provide loans of up to $ 20,000 to businesses with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) who may demonstrate hardship. due to the pandemic.

There would be no interest as long as the loan is repaid in full over three to five years, depending on the size of the loan. The first installments will not be due before May 1, 2021.

Businesses with five FTEs or less can claim up to $ 5,000. Companies with 6 to 25 FTEs can claim up to $ 20,000.

Applications could be available as early as this week. City staff will assess and approve loan applications, with the volunteer assistance of a local loan expert.

The city conducted a survey to assess the needs of local businesses. Of 41 respondents, 83% said COVID-19 could either bankrupt them or have a significant impact on their finances for months or years to come. Half of them reported losses of more than $ 100,000.

You can reach Jesse Duarte at 967-6803 or [email protected].


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