Municipal loans help businesses | News, Sports, Jobs
WARREN – Trumbull Family Fitness placed wall thermometers and plexiglass dividers and bought hundreds of dollars of disinfection equipment, supplies, masks and other personal protective equipment with the $ 5,000 it has received from a grant provided by the city’s community development department.
The Downtown Fitness Center received a portion of $ 109,002 in forgivable loans already made to businesses and nonprofits located in the city. Officials expect to provide a total of $ 127,000 in loans and grants by the time all loan applications are processed.
Since the CV-19 Business Support Loan Program began in May, approximately 63 businesses and businesses have applied to receive up to $ 5,000 in loans and grants under the program. 40 of the applicants are expected to have or will receive a portion of the funds.
“This loan was very important for us”, Paulette Edington, executive director of the 92-year-old establishment, said. “Receiving this money made the decision to reopen easier after Governor (Mike) De-Wine’s order cleared the gyms to open. “
“We might have been able to open without it, but not at the level we did”, Edington said.
Trumbull Family Fitness received the maximum loan of $ 5,000.
The fitness center is operating at a third of the capacity it had when it was forced to close in mid-March due to the state’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Before the pandemic, the fitness center had an average of around 2,000 members. Today, it has nearly 700 members.
“We are optimistic that more people will come back”, Edington said. “Summer is generally our off-season, so as the season changes we expect more people to come back.”
The city established its small business loan program under the CARES Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy Act after the community development department received $ 702,138 from the housing and development ministry urban.
At the time, it was decided to use part of the funds to provide loans / grants to companies impacted by the pandemic.
The money could be used to replace perishable items lost due to pandemic-related closures or to purchase related supplies. They were not available to purchase items or equipment unrelated to the pandemic, such as cash registers, vehicles, etc.
Companies approved for loans by Warren Redevelopment and Planning were required to spend loan amounts within two months of receipt. They also had to provide receipts proving the use of funds.
Thereafter, the loan amount will be forgiven by 20% each month for the next five months.
“Indeed, after the seven months, the loans are canceled”, Anthony Iannucci, executive director of WRAP, said.
About a quarter of the businesses approved for the funds were restaurants or stores that sold food products.
New restaurants, such as Charbonnay Winery and West and Main, as well as older restaurants, such as Sunrise Inn, Mocha House, and Up A Creek, have also qualified, provided they can establish pandemic-related losses. .
“This money was very important”, Gabriel Gouvas, co-owner of the West & Main restaurant on Courthouse Square, said. “When we were forced to close in March, we lost all of our perishable items, including food and alcohol. We had to replace them.
West & Main also received the maximum loan amount of $ 5,000.
Some companies requested and received lower amounts, including St. Paul’s Children Rainbow Daycare, which received $ 3,800, and All American Cards and Comics, which charged $ 150 to purchase PPE and masks.
Michael Keys, executive director of the city’s community development department, said part of the money received from HUD was used to provide around $ 49,000 for Coleman Professional Services to find housing for the homeless, $ 12,000 to a domestic violence shelter and $ 7,000 to Warren’s SCOPE, which delivered groceries to elderly residents who could not leave their homes.
Keys is finalizing plans to launch a second business loan program. However, loans granted in the second program will not be repayable. Loan amounts should be larger.
“They will be at very low interest”, said the keys.
He said he expects to announce this program within the next week.