San Diego announced a business loan program Tuesday aimed at helping owners adapt to changing restrictions and protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 3% interest loans ranging from $25,000 to $95,000 are for qualified businesses as part of the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund. The money can be used to cover expenses such as furniture, safety equipment, website development and digital marketing.
“With the pandemic, it’s our goal as a city to do everything we can to help small businesses survive,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “We hope by lending financial assistance, we can help these businesses with a much-needed lifeline during this time of uncertainty.”
The city’s Economic Development Department is issuing the loans with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
The non-forgivable, term loans are intended to help entrepreneurs adapt their business models to operating under pandemic restrictions while retaining or creating jobs. The city may only make RLF loans that are reasonably expected to be repaid in full.
“We hope many of the business that qualify will take advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Christina Bibler, director of the city EDD. “We recognize many businesses are struggling with payrolls, overhead and other expenses as they try to adapt to changes in this new environment. As a city we want to stand by them to help them modify their businesses as they weather this economic storm in the hopes that brighter days are ahead.”
The RLF loans come with a 3% fixed annual interest rate and a general term of 54 to 78 months, depending on the size and use of the loan. No payments or interest are accrued for the first six months.
Financial assistance will be given to qualified small businesses based on the availability of funds, program guidelines and the submission of all required information and supporting documentation for the preliminary online application and underwriting phases.
Priority will be given to smaller businesses within underserved communities or those operating within these four economic base sectors and key industries:
— manufacturing and innovation including biotech and medical devices, cleantech, electronics and telecommunications and food and beverage;
— international trade and logistics;
— military, including defense, maritime and aerospace; and
— tourism including conventions and visitors.
Businesses can check to see if they are eligible for the loans by visiting sandiego.gov/CARESActRLF.