Small Business Loan Program Looking to Distribute Funds This Month

The City’s Small Business Loan Program could get money in the hands of hurting businesses and restaurants before Thanksgiving, according to an update to the Council from City Planner Alex Train.

There were 137 applications for the program by the cutoff date last month, and 29 came from restaurants and 108 came from small businesses like salons, light industry, contractors and retail businesses.

Train told the Council on Nov. 2 in an update on the program that they are currently evaluating all of the applications and scoring them appropriately. Businesses were to begin to be notified this week if they got a grant and for how much. Money was expected to be delivered on Nov. 23.

For the restaurants, the maximum loan allowed was $20,000 and all but two establishments asked for the maximum. He said under the funding allowed, they would only be able to fund 20 applicants for the amounts requested. Instead, they will be likely awarding lower amounts to accommodate everyone.

“Our recommendation is that we make smaller awards so we can accommodate all applicants,” he wrote in his update.

All of the grants awards were subject to a good standing review by the City to make sure applicants weren’t delinquent on taxes or doing anything wrong.

The program began last summer when Council President Roy Avellaneda and Councillors Todd Taylor and Judith Garcia all realized small businesses were going to need help throughout the pandemic and when trying to recover. After several meetings to work out details and figure out who and how the wanted to help, the program launched in August.

It is funded by the City and federal grants money from the CARES Act as well.

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