Managers of a new emergency loan program for McLean County businesses say the second round of federal aid through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) has, so far, muted response to the county's stimulus effort.
Patrick Hoban, president and CEO of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council, said that’s OK because the county loan program is meant to be a last resort for businesses that had “slipped through the cracks” while seeking pandemic relief.
“I think if there had not been another stimulus, there would be more demand right now, but as I think this entire thing has been rolled out, we all want and see what the rules are and see what’s available,” Hoban said.
More than 20 businesses have expressed interest in the $600,000 McLean County Targeted Development Loan Program, he said, and many of them have sought applications -- but none have applied yet.
Hoban said it's possible some business owners are waiting to see if the latest round of federal stimulus money comes through.
“That’s definitely the goal. We want everyone to start with federal programs and go down to state and then use local (funding),” he said.
When the McLean County Board approved the loan program in April, it removed a stipulation that businesses show they were denied federal funding, since money through the first round of the stimulus program was exhausted within weeks.
Businesses with 10 or fewer employees are eligible to receive loans up to $5,000 under the county program, and companies with up to 50 workers can get $20,000. Loans are repaid at 1% interest.
Several county board members have said they want to see the funds dispersed as quickly as possible because of the economic desperation many small businesses are facing due to pandemic-related shutdowns.
Hoban said there's no deadline to apply.
We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WGLT will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WGLT can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.