Written by Frank Lopez
Fresno city leaders and representatives from the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) held a press conference at city hall Monday to announce details on the city’s COVID-19 Small Business Loan-to-Grant Program.
The Fresno City Council passed on March 25 the “Save our Small Business Act,” which established the $750,000 fund to be administered by local small business lender Access Plus Capital. The money is coming from the city’s fund and the grants will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis to businesses affected by the pandemic.
“Small businesses are the heart of our economy, and they’re experiencing unprecedented disruption due to COVID-19,” Brand said. “I am proud of how our residents and businesses are looking out for each other during these challenging times. The willingness of our private partners to join the city in our effort to bring immediate relief to business owners who are struggling during this pandemic is not only encouraging — it’s inspiring.”
The application for the Save our Small Business program will be available on Access Plus Capital’s website and will be available until 11:59 p.m. on April 12.
The mayor said that if there are more applications than available funding, there will be a random drawing to select which businesses get the loan-to-grants.
Businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak will be able to apply for a zero-interest loan with no application, packaging, origination or service fees. The loans will be forgiven after one year if the business is still operating.
Applicants will give a guarantee that they will pay the loans back if the business closes.
Businesses with 1-5 employees can apply for a $5,000 loan-to-grant, and businesses with 6-25 employees will be able to apply for $10,000 loan-to grant.
The loans will only be available to businesses with a valid business license with the City of Fresno that were in business no later than Feb. 15 and have no outstanding liens, judgments or conditional use permit violations.
The $750,000 dollars will be divided evenly between the seven city council districts.
“I can’t say enough of how proud I am of the city for acting so quickly and meeting the needs of our small businesses,” Reyes said. “We are all in this together and look forward to putting money into the hands of our small businesses, where it belongs.”