With many businesses suffering revenue losses due to the pandemic, the city of Peoria has developed several programs to provide financial support to small businesses.
Peoria businesses can apply for the Small Business Emergency Loan Program and/or the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Business Assistance Grant Program beginning in July.
“Peoria’s businesses are an essential part of the unique character of our city, and over the past few months, they have experienced the far-reaching implications of this global pandemic first hand,” Mayor Cathy Carlat said. “As we work toward recovery, we must continue to do all that we can to support the long-term viability of our main street businesses, and these programs are intentionally designed to provide immediate relief to those who have been hit the hardest.”
The programs are designed as a resource for more than 3,500 small businesses in Peoria.
In partnership with Bell Bank, the Small Business Emergency Loans are microloans of $5,000 up to $20,000 for businesses that employ less than 20 people. The loans will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified applicants that need help with working capital needs or normal business operating expenses throughout the pandemic recovery period.
According to the city, the loans have a fixed, low interest rate and repayment terms up to 48 months.
The first payment for these loans will be deferred for 120 days.
Rick Buss, Peoria’s Economic Development director, said the city is guaranteeing the loans in the event of default.
“It’s another way the city can be a support for small businesses,” he said, noting the microloan program is designed for those with less than 20 employees.
“Bell Bank doesn’t want to make any money on it,” Buss said.
The federal government rolled out a massive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) last month.
“But with the PPP, some of the smaller businesses didn’t get it. We knew we had these small businesses who were left out; how can we help them? We want to make sure we’re helping as many businesses as possible,” Buss said.
The CDBG Small Business Assistance grants are for business owners and entrepreneurs who did not receive funding through the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury and Disaster Loan.
“Grants in the amount of $5,000 will be awarded to eligible Peoria businesses with annual revenue of less than $750,000 and can demonstrate assistance in stabilizing and expanding microenterprises that provide medical, food delivery, cleaning and other personal services to support home health and quarantine,” said a press release.