A group of community organizations in New Albany has announced a zero interest revolving loan program designed to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. One Southern Indiana, the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Clark and Floyd counties, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, and the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County have made $300,000 available through its Cultural Relief Loan Program.
The BlueSky Foundation issued a $250,000 grant for businesses in Clark and Floyd counties and asked the community to donate additional funds to the initiative. The Floyd County Commission donated $50,000 for exclusive use among business loans granted within Floyd County. The organizations say all donations for the program will be granted to the CFFC, which will administer the program and disperse the funds.
Madison Hamman from the BlueSky Foundation said, “We understand this is an unprecedented time for any business in our community and recovering from the effects will take time. We view small businesses as the heartbeat of Southern Indiana and great contributors to the culture we know and love. We want to be sure these businesses can recover from this storm and come back stronger than ever.”
Eligible businesses must be locally owned and operated in Clark or Floyd counties, have a physical location outside of the home and be in food service, retail, salon/spa services or entertainment.
“Once the health crisis has passed, it may take several months for consumer confidence to return, meaning nonessential spending may be sluggish for the foreseeable future. This funding will focus on the recovery of small retail shops and restaurants, which are typically the last to bounce back after an economic crisis such as this. Floyd County government is proud to step forward once again to assist small businesses and will continue to work with partners like the BlueSky Foundation and others to mitigate the effects of this downturn,” said Floyd County Commission President Shawn Carruthers.
According to the organizations, the purpose of the loan is to keep small businesses viable through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, and loan amounts up to $25,000 will be considered. Unlike the recently announced COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Forgivable Loan Fund, the loan is not forgivable.
The organizations say funds will be awarded based on need and can only be used to assist with payroll expenses, rent and utilities. Applications are now being accepted, and the submission deadline is April 22.
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