Lebanon’s “mom and pop” businesses have until 5 p.m. Sept. 25 to apply for a forgivable loan in the second round of allocations from the city’s Small Business Recovery Assistance Fund.
The $350,000 fund, developed by the administration of Mayor Sherry Capello, is Community Development Block Grant/coronavirus relief money.
This phase will be administered by the city’s Community & Economic Development Office, which will start disbursing money in mid-October.
Getting the word out that these loans, up to $7,500 each, are easy to forgive is the key, according to Lebanon officials.
Loans will be eligible for forgiveness pending documented proof that the money was used as agreed and that the business reopened (or remained open) for a minimum of 90 days from receipt of the funding, a release said.
Funds can be used toward working capital needs such as payroll, mortgage or rent, utility payments, inventory and COVID-19 expenses.
“We acknowledge that many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat and understand the economic and emotional toll that an event like this may have on a person, business and community,” Capello said in the release. “Not all businesses were able to take advantage of the resources made available and in order to better serve our business community, we have established this fund to assist. We are committed to a simple, low-barrier process.”
To be eligible, businesses must be within the Lebanon city limits and file federal and state taxes.
There’s a sliding scale. Businesses with annual revenue of $250,000 or less may apply for a $2,500 loan; businesses with yearly revenue from $250,001 and $500,000 may apply for a $5,000 loan; and businesses with annual revenue from $500,001 and $1 million may apply for a $7,500 loan.
Those with revenue in excess of $1 million a year are not eligible.
According to the release, the preference is for small businesses that have a storefront, including (but not limited to) retail stores, restaurants, hair and nail salons, florists, and performing arts and fitness centers.
Special consideration will be given to businesses in the downtown district.
Applicants will be judged on a range of criteria, including severity of current need, longevity of the business, financial strength and credit worthiness, and local economic and community impact.
Also, businesses that received any federal relief funding, such as an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance or Payroll Protection Program forgivable loan, may still apply.
For additional information, call Janelle Mendoff, Lebanon’s community & economic development administrator, at 717-228-4487. Community First Fund’s Angel Rosario, 717-875-3393, who is bilingual, is available to help with the application process as well.
Do you support local news?
If you believe that Lebanon County needs independent, high-quality journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. Your support will go directly towards stories like this and you will be helping ensure that our community has a reliable news source for years to come.
Learn more about membership and join now here.
Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.