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In an effort to support Richfield’s small business community, the city’s Economic Development Authority created a COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program. (Submitted photo)

Forgivable loans will be available for businesses impacted by COVID-19

According to a recent study conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business, 80% of small employers are experiencing slower sales, 31% are experiencing supply chain disruption and 23% report concerns about sick employees.

The country’s small businesses are some of the hardest hit by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

At the beginning of April, the U.S. Small Business Administration began distributing $10,000 disaster grants to aid some of the country’s smallest employers during the public health crisis. But for many businesses, these grants will not be enough to see them through the pandemic.

“Businesses of all shapes and sizes are seeing a drastic reduction in income during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Richfield Chamber of Commerce Chairman Greg Worthen said. “Richfield is the first city I have heard of that is willing to help its small businesses through this crisis in the form of a forgivable loan program. The program shows what a business-friendly community Richfield is.”

In an effort to support Richfield’s small business community, the city’s Economic Development Authority created a COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program.

“The federal and state-level programs are focusing most of their resources on large and medium-sized businesses,” advised EDA Chair Mary Supple. “If we want to have a healthy and diverse local economy, we need businesses of all sizes. The creation of the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program will provide much-needed assistance to the city’s businesses to weather this unprecedented public health crisis.”

Details of the Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program include:

• $2,500 for the first employee and $500 for each additional employee up to $7,500

• Available to businesses that have operated in Richfield for at least one year

• Businesses forced to shut down the earliest and those impacted the most are given preference

• Loans carry a 0% interest rate until Dec. 31, 2021

• Up to 50% of the loan is forgivable in 2020 if the business can demonstrate expenditures on staffing, COVID-19-related expenses or visible capital improvements

• Up to 50% of the loan is forgivable in 2021 if the business reestablishes itself

Richfield’s EDA was formed in 2018 to support projects and create new programs to help bolster the local economy. In its first two years, the EDA collected a tax levy but chose to accumulate the majority of those funds in a reserve fund for unforeseen needs or opportunities.

This financial planning is now permitting the EDA to provide $150,000 for the COVID-19 Small Business Forgivable Loan. Loan applications are now available to interested businesses.

Info: trimurl.co/cFxkmy

– Courtesy of the Richfield Communications Department

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