Small businesses in Connecticut are now eligible for federal emergency loans of up to $ 2 million, and the Hartford Foundation has launched a $ 1 million fund to meet the needs of Greater Hartford residents affected by the COVID-19 virus crisis.
The announcements were made during a teleconference held Monday afternoon by the MetroHartford Alliance, which included representatives from the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Federal Small Business Administration. (SBA).
Governor Ned Lamont submitted a request to the US Small Business Administration on Sunday, asking the federal agency to issue a statement that will allow small business owners in the state to receive loans in the event of an economic disaster.
The loan program falls under the jurisdiction of the SBA and became available to Connecticut businesses just before 2 p.m. today when the state was declared a federal disaster state, said Moraima Gutierrez, local spokesperson for the SBA.
âNow we can go ahead and tell our small business owners that they can go online and apply for economic disaster loans from the SBA,â Gutierrez said.
Qualifying businesses can apply for loans of up to $ 2 million, she said, and have interest rates of 3.75%, with payment plans of up to 30 years. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%. Only businesses that do not have access to credit elsewhere are eligible for disaster loans.
Additionally, Hartford Foundation President Jay Williams announced that the foundation, along with United Way, is activating the Greater Hartford Covid-19 Response Fund, which the Hartford Foundation has funded with $ 1 million. Corporate donors and individuals can also contribute to the fund.
âThis disaster response fund represents and reflects a coalition of philanthropic, government and business partners who have come together to create this mechanism,â said Williams.
The fund will quickly release funds to community organizations responding to medical and economic issues resulting from the coronavirus outbreak in Greater Hartford, he said.
Additionally, DECD Deputy Commissioner Glendowlyn Thames said her agency was working with lawmakers on a broad program to help businesses and individuals affected by the virus.
“We are moving to shorter-term projects [solutions] that will be part of this more comprehensive economic stimulus package, âThames said.[There] will be more on that to come in the next few days. “