Tri-county businesses that have lost revenue since the start of the pandemic can now apply for a $10,000 to $100,000 loan from Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, the organization said in a news release.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded the COG $560,000 in coronavirus relief funding to assist in private-sector recovery and to help create and retain opportunities in the region.
The federal money will be used to capitalize the newly formed BCDCOG CARES Revolving Loan Fund, a federally initiated, state-backed program aimed at creating and protecting jobs in the tri-county economy.
Eligible businesses in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties businesses that can provide evidence of lost revenue since the pandemic began may apply for a one-year, interest-deferred or interest-free loan.
“The capitalization of the RLF is fully in line with the BCDCOG’s regional economic recovery strategy and a much-needed lifeline for businesses affected by COVID-19,” COG Executive Director Ron Mitchum said.
Twenty-four hours after the announcement was made on Sept. 10, Mitchum said the responses were already flowing in.
The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration is being flexible on loan qualifications, including having no requirement that credit is not otherwise available, no requirement for leveraging additional capital, and reduced or eliminated collateral requirements.
The administration will look at evidence of loss in revenue, the years a business has operated, an employee retention plan and the business sector.
There is a $500 application fee, which could be waived, and up to a 1.5% origination fee and 0.5% annual service fee.
The COG has hired Melanie Pasheluk to manage and facilitate the loan process. She can be reached at 843-529-2573 or firstname.lastname@example.org.