The town of Columbia’s Housing Packages Division will begin accepting purposes for microenterprise restoration loans on-line at eight a.m. Sept. 15.
The town council permitted the loans for small companies in a bundle of amendments that the Housing Packages Division proposed throughout the May four Metropolis Council assembly. The amendments outlined how town ought to allocate the $573,473 it obtained from the Coronavirus Assist, Reduction and Financial system Safety (CARES) Act for enterprise loans. It supplied that the Microenterprise Restoration loan program obtain $175,000 of the funding.
In accordance with a metropolis information launch, this program is designed particularly for native companies with 5 or fewer workers. It’s going to present $5,000 loans for 35 companies. Candidates can have at some point — or till the 53 utility restrict is met — to submit their supplies on-line by the Neighborly System portal.
That is town’s second effort to supply COVID-19 aid funding to small companies. The sooner Microenterprise Restoration loan program, with $90,000 in federal funding, opened on April 15. The purposes obtained rapidly exhausted the obtainable funding and plenty of minority-owned companies didn’t obtain loans.
The applying restrict usually will get hit fairly early, mentioned Randy Cole, housing applications supervisor, referring to the applying course of in April.
“It takes a bit [of time] to go through the application. We ask for a lot of information,” Cole mentioned. “We try to make it exactly what we need to align with our federal regulations, but it’ll probably take most folks an hour or two.”
Cole emphasised that the loans might help hold companies afloat throughout this tough time, whereas additionally giving homeowners sufficient capital to put money into measures to extend their resiliency within the coming months.
Loans might be totally forgiven if they’re used in the direction of permitted bills, comparable to lease, payroll and working bills.
Program tips and utility data could be discovered on town’s webpage. Metropolis employees anticipate a two-week turnaround for fund disbursement from the time of utility, however that is topic to vary.
Nationally and on the native stage, governmental help has been criticized for not being readily accessible to minority-owned companies. The U.S. Treasury made CARES Act funding obtainable by native banks and having a relationship with a bank is a barrier for a few of these companies, Cole mentioned.
“In our program, we’re trying to prioritize some of those businesses that may have been left behind or either just didn’t have an opportunity to access those funds,” he mentioned.
Functions might be graded on a five-point system:
- One level for minority-owned enterprise enterprises.
- One level for women-owned enterprise enterprises.
- One level for companies the place homeowners reside within the metropolis.
- One level for companies that haven’t but obtained PPP, SBA or earlier help.
- One level for companies which are investing in adapting to the pandemic.
“We wanted to make sure that minority-owned businesses were well-informed and aware of the program so that they could start to prepare to submit their paperwork,” mentioned James Whitt, director of town’s provider range program.
This program is open for all microbusiness homeowners to use, Whitt mentioned. They simply needed to make sure native minority-owned companies had data of how they might take part in this system.
“Our hope would be that we not only save businesses but reposition them in our current climate to grow,” Cole mentioned.
The Central Missouri Neighborhood Motion (CMCA) Girls’s Enterprise Heart, town of Columbia’s nonprofit group companion, is offered to supply technical assist to companies with the applying course of. Companies in want of help can contact the middle at 573-818-2980.
For extra details about the Microenterprise Restoration loan Program, companies can contact Randy Cole at 574-874-6321 or by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.