Town of Marion Announces COVID-19 Stimulus Loan Program:
Up to $2,500 in Zero Interest Loans Available For Eligible Marion Businesses
The Town of Marion, in partnership with Marion Downtown and the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development, announce the next phase of small business relief programs to be made available to qualifying Marion small businesses.
Marion's Director of Community and Economic Development Ken Heath announced the program Thursday afternoon. "Through grant funds provided by the USDA Rural Development, Marion established a low interest loan pool as part of the Rural Business Development Grant program back in 2011.," said Heath. "To date, we've partnered with 21 Marion businesses to help kick start - and expand - here in America's Coolest Hometown! In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are witnessing unprecedented economic devastation across America, and especially to our micro-businesses - the very lifeblood of our communities."
"To continue our long history of front line support for our businesses, on Friday, March 20, the Marion Office of Community and Economic Development asked the Marion Town Council to allow use of the current balance of $34,000 in the Marion Small Business Loan Pool, and asked Marion Downtown to provide up to an additional $16,000 from their Grant Fund, to provide a series of stop-gap zero interest loans to assist as many of our businesses as we possibly can through this event," Heath continued.
"By doing so, Marion now has a total loan pool of $50,000 that we can loan $2,500 at zero percent interest for up to 120 days to Marion small businesses - businesses having fewer than 10 total employees," added Alexandra Veatch, Deputy Director of Community and Economic Development. "After the initial 120 days, the total amount can be paid in full with no interest, or may be repaid in monthly installments at a 2% interest rate for a period of not more than 12 months."
"This puts money back into the coffers of at another 20 local businesses, helping to pay rent and keep lights on during this crisis", said Marion Mayor David Helms. "By doing so, we are encouraging them to not only continue to serve our community, but to keep Marion working by keeping businesses open and employees earning paychecks to keep their lives moving forward as well."
Marion Small Business COVID-19 Stimulus Loan applications will be accepted from any qualifying Marion business beginning Friday, April 6.
To qualify, the business must be current on business license and all federal, state, and town taxes (real estate, personal property, meals and lodging as applicable) through February 2020. Each qualifying applicant then will be scored, with priority to those most affected by the COVID related business interruptions - specifically restaurants and salons (no home based), then small independent retailers, in that order.
Businesses that are deemed "essential", home based, not licensed and physically located within the Town of Marion, not current on taxes and other obligations to the Town of Marion, or have more than ten employees are not eligible for this loan.
Awardees will be required to remain operational in accordance with CDC guidelines and Virginia regulations during the loan period, or all loan funds will be due and payable immediately to allow for additional loans to be made to businesses that are operational. Only one loan is available per business address - even if there are multiple business entities within the same building, to allow for the most impact to the greatest number. Current Marion Small Business Loan recipients are not eligible.
Each application will be considered in the order they are received, and funds will be available as long as the funds are available. The program is being marketed through all usual channels (press releases, social media, radio, television), to allow for maximum saturation so as many businesses possible be given the opportunity to apply.
A short application form and basic financial documents will need to be submitted. Applications will be available beginning April 6 by emailing email@example.com.
For additional information, please contact Ken Heath (276) 378-5026 or Alex Veatch (276) 378-5029.