Alamance Chamber, partners offering loans to small businesses, associations

Small businesses and nonprofits in Alamance County can get a little extra help recovering from COVID-19 through a revolving loan fund created by the Alamance Chamber of Commerce and several partner agencies .

The community recovery loan program got its start in August after the Alamance County Economic Development Foundation (housed in the House), the Alamance Community Foundation, the Alamance County Government and Impact Alamance created the revolving loan fund of $ 300,000. Self-Help Credit Union has also signed up to administer the loans.

Traditional loan programs run out of funding at some point, while a revolving loan fund allows Self-Help to continually allocate more funding as loans are paid off, helping to extend the benefits. from the program.

“Many businesses in our community have been affected by the coronavirus and need a lifeline to recover,” Mac Williams, president of the Alamance Chamber, said when the loan program began. “We are proud to announce this fund intended for local businesses to help them adapt and adapt their business not only to the current and post-COVID-19 economy, but especially in the longer term.”

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Support for minority and women owned businesses is a priority of the program, so these businesses are strongly encouraged to apply.

“This program aims to put a strong emphasis on business owners and underserved geographies, as many of these owners and locations were more affected and had fewer resources for turnaround,” said a press release from the House.

Since the program is a revolving loan fund, House officials said the funding will benefit local businesses not only as they recover from the pandemic, but also long into the future. As the loans are repaid, more businesses will become eligible to borrow this money.

Loans between $ 2,500 and $ 25,000 are available and can be used for “working capital, business rent or mortgage, employee or independent contractor compensation, business overhaul. , equipment, inventory replenishment, protective equipment compliance with COVID-19 requirements, ”the Chamber said.

The loans have an interest rate of 4%, no application or origination fees, and no payments are due for the first six months.

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Small businesses and nonprofits that were open before COVID-19 arrived can apply. Primary place of business must be in Alamance County and qualifying businesses must have 25 or fewer full-time employees.

Eligible businesses may not have any unsatisfied judgments, tax liens or bankruptcies within the past year and credit reports will be reviewed as part of the application process. If a borrower has no credit score or a credit score below 500, the borrower’s credit history will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, according to Self-Help Credit Union.

Businesses that have received PPP or EIDL loans from the US Small Business Administration are eligible, but only if the community stimulus funds will be used for different purposes.

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In addition to the funding, the Small Business Center at Alamance Community College is committed to providing technical support and consultations to businesses applying to the program. Assistance may include filling out the request or helping with specific business issues such as legal, marketing, or accounting.

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So far, 35 companies have applied for the loan and 18 have been approved, according to Scott Schomburg of Self-Help Credit Union. Just over $ 325,000 was funded, thanks to a beneficiary who was able to repay their loan early.

Of the loan recipients, nine were minority-owned businesses and 10 were women-owned businesses. The types of businesses that have received funding so far include hair salons, daycares, gyms and restaurants, which were among the industries hardest hit during the pandemic.

“It’s certainly a diverse set of business types, but the ones you would think of (like) barbershops, restaurants, gyms, childcare, are the ones that seem to be the hardest hit and hit hardest. fit best into the program, “Schomburg mentioned.

The first round of loans was disbursed in August, so the companies are all starting to make payments. Once the money is released, Schomburg said he expects another round of funding to come out, especially as the PPP program comes to an end.

To learn more about the Community Stimulus Loan Program, visit alamancechamber.com/recovery-loan-program. To apply, visit self-help.org/alamance-community-recovery-loans.

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Elizabeth Pattman is the current affairs reporter for The Times-News in Burlington, covering business, COVID-19 and all the trends. Contact Elizabeth (she / she) at epattman@gannett.com. I’m also available on social media @EPattmanTN on Twitter or @burlingtontimesnews on Instagram.


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