Written by Justin Culetu
Because of the crippling lockdowns that Gov. Newsom implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have been under great financial distress. To help those struggling business owners, San Diego city officials announced a business loan program that is intended to help owners adapt to ever changing restrictions and protocols that change based on Newsom’s political standing.
As part of the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund, businesses can qualify for 3% fixed annual interest rate loans ranging from $25,000 to $95,000. The general term for the RLF loans is 54 to 78 months, depending on the size of the loan. For the first six months, no payments are due and no interest is accumulated. The loans can be used to cover expenses such as furniture, safety equipment, website development, and digital marketing.
The term loans are aimed at helping business owners adapt their operation procedures under the pandemic restrictions while still conserving or creating jobs. Term loans are non-forgivable and the city can only grant these loans to those who provide reasonable expectations to pay back in full.
The program will be made available to qualified small businesses based on the availability of funds, program guidelines, and the proper submission of required online preliminary applications and supporting documentation.
“We recognize many businesses are struggling with payrolls, overhead and other expenses as they try to adapt to changes in this new environment. As a city we want to stand by them to help them modify their businesses as they weather this economic storm in the hopes that brighter days are ahead,” said Chrisina Bibler, director of the San Diego EDD.
Smaller businesses within neglected sectors are expected to take precedence for this program. That encompasses manufacturing and innovation, including biotech and medical devices, cleantech, electronics and telecommunications, and food and beverage. It also includes international trade and logistics, as well as military, including defense, maritime and aerospace. Tourism will be prioritized as well.
Businesses can check their eligibility for this program at this link.