Details of county’s loan program announced
Harrison County small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are invited to apply for low-interest loans designed to assist them with recovery efforts. Loan applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. Thursday, May 7.
Officials from the Harrison County Board of Commissioners and Council, the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, the Harrison County Community Foundation and the Harrison County Economic Development Corp. announced the new low-interest small business loan program last week.
As previously reported, the Harrison County Commissioners and Council first established the historic program on April 13, utilizing the Harrison County Community Fund, held in endowment, at the Harrison County Community Foundation. On April 16, the Chamber donated an additional $100,000, matched by the funds allocated by the Harrison County Commissioners and Council, bringing the current funds available in the program to $300,000. The Harrison County Community Foundation will decide at its board meeting Monday its level of involvement in this program.
“It is remarkable that during this unprecedented global health crisis that leaders across Harrison County, Ind., were able to connect to develop this exceptional loan program to assist our most vulnerable small businesses,” said Lisa Long, Chamber president. “Although all of the contributors of this program understand we may not be able to fund every request, this program is going to go a long way to ensuring that our vibrant small business community perseveres.”
Taylor Johnson, Chamber board chair, added, “During this time, many communities will struggle to find the resources and leadership needed to combat this crisis. I am heartened and encouraged to know that in Harrison County we have the necessary resources and a surplus of leadership available to help our businesses navigate the coming months.”
The loan application and information about eligibility and terms can be found on the Chamber of Commerce’s website, www.harrison
For-profit businesses, with 30 employees or less, interested in applying for support must be locally owned and operated in Harrison County and have a physical location outside of the home. Franchisees, independent consultants/distributors, real estate agents and property management companies are not eligible to participate in the program. Non-profits may contact the Harrison County Community Foundation for COVID-19 emergency grant assistance.
Recipients of the Harrison County COVID-19 Small Business Economic Relief Program will be required to speak with a representative of the Southeast Indiana Small Business Development Center to review business planning and discuss how to prepare their business for future emergency situations.
The Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County will coordinate the application process, and the Harrison County Economic Development Corp., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, will act as the fiscal agent for the funds and work with the Chamber to administer this program.
“The EDC is pleased to join with the county, the Chamber and the community foundation to deliver this assistance to our small business community,” said Darrell Voelker, executive director of the county’s Economic Development Corp.
Harrison County Councilwoman Jennie Capelle said, “We have the resources, so we need to support the economic health of our community.”
Holli Castetter, who also serves on the council, added, “The Rainy Day Fund was established for such a time as this; our short-term investment in Harrison County’s small businesses will give our economy the best chance at long-term survival.”
“The county’s economic vitality depends on a strong small business community,” said Donnie Hussung, who serves as president of the county council. “These loan funds have been made available to help small businesses get through these unprecedented times and remain a vital part of what makes Harrison County the best place to live, work and play.”
Brad Wiseman, another council member, said, “I’m very thankful that we have been able to grow the Community Fund to a level that will allow the commissioners and council to help our small businesses in Harrison County get through this unprecedented time of need.”
County Commissioner Charlie Crawford also commented on the program.
“As a county, I am pleased that we have all worked together to bring this needed assistance to our small business community,” he said. “The Community Fund provides the perfect resource for these tough economic times.”
According to loan organizers, the purpose of the loan is to keep small businesses viable through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. Loans up to $7,500 will be considered. Approved borrowers have the option of choosing either a 1% 24-month loan or a 1-1/2% 36-month loan. All loan payments will begin six months after funding. During the initial six months, no interest will accrue, and the borrower has the ability to reduce the loan principal balance at will. There is no pre-payment penalty.
Payments of principal and interest calculated on the unpaid balance will begin the first day of the seventh month after loan funding and will be based on the remaining months in the loan term selected.
Funds will be awarded based on demonstrated need and may only be used to offset COVID-19 losses, maintain employees, provide pay for employees unable to work due to COVID-19 or pay business-related rent/mortgage/utilities.
A loan committee has been established and will review applications and required documentation, including a detailed explanation of need and proposed use of funds from the business owner(s) to determine funding eligibility. Applicants will also need to submit profit and loss statements and balance sheets for the fiscal year ending 2019 and year-to-date 2020 as well as an executive summary of their business plan. A complete list of required documentation is included in the application and can be found on the Chamber’s website.
“Like all residents of Harrison County, I appreciate and value our small businesses that provide employment and valuable goods and services to our residents,” said Julie Moorman, president/CEO of the Harrison County Community Foundation. “These small businesses are a vital part of what we treasure about Harrison County. This collaborative program is an opportunity to show small businesses our community support.”
Questions regarding the loan application may be directed to Long via email at [email protected].