Local Government

Quincy's small business relief program issues first microloans

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 9, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY — Quincy city officials say that 20 businesses have applied for loans from the Quincy Small Business Loan Fund so far, less than two weeks since City Council approved the fund.

This program has allocated $500,000 from the city's Central Business District Revolving Loan Fund to create low-interest loans to small businesses struggling during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order, which closed bars and limited restaurant operations. The order remains in effect until April 30 but could be extended.

Under the parameters of the loan program, individual businesses would be able to seek up to $10,000 in microloans. Receiving the loans would not prevent businesses from seeking additional loans and grants from the Small Business Administration, and other state and federal government agencies.

Of those 20 businesses, nine had applications approved Wednesday by the Quincy Small Business Emergency Loan Committee, which includes city officials and local bank representatives.

Those businesses include: Mane Therapie Salon, 838 Hampshire; Gem City College, 700 State; Expressions by Christine, 711 Maine; Sterling Awards and Engraving, 2302 N. 12th; Created For Motion: Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Sports Rehabilitation, 105 N. 36th, Suite 101; Custom Dental Care P.C., 3740 E. Lake Center; Travel House of Quincy, 3111 Maine; Jerry Walker Therapy Services, 195 S. 36th, Suite 400; and ROLS Inc, which is doing business as CBQ Services, 510 Maine, Suite 400.

Except for Expressions by Christine, all of the businesses requested and received $10,000 from the fund. Expressions by Christine requested and received $9,000.

The committee plans to meet each Wednesday to review and approve loan applications. Owners of eligible businesses interested in applying for the loan should submit an application by noon Friday in order to have an application before the committee the following week, said Chuck Bevelheimer, Quincy's director of planning and development. He is administering the program.

With Wednesday's approval, $411,000 remains available in the microloan fund.

Businesses are eligible if they meet certain criteria, including: must have been in business before Jan. 1, 2020; must be located in the city limits; be a for-profit entity and privately owned; not be home-based; must employ between two and 50 employees; and applicants must be able to demonstrate how the pandemic has hurt the business.

In addition to providing recent tax documents, applicants must submit collateral sufficient to assure loan repayment.

The microloans can be used to pay employee wages and benefits; purchase supplies; pay rent and mortgage; and pay utilities and insurance coverage.

The microloans cannot be used for employer wages and benefits; to recoup the employer's personal expenses; for construction or remodeling; and for debt incurred before March 9, 2020.

All of the businesses approved at Wednesday's meeting plan to use the fund for payroll, rent, utilities and insurance.

The microloans carry an 18-month term with a 1% interest rate, compounded monthly. While repayments of the microloans could begin immediately, the first payment would be delayed for six months from the loan's issuance.