Barlow: City to cancel all COVID biz loans | New
OSWEGO – Small businesses in the port city will not have to repay emergency loans offered by the city at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow announced Thursday that the city of Oswego is forgiving nearly $ 300,000 in COVID-19 commercial loans issued in March 2020. City officials plan to cover the costs using the 1.89 million dollars owed to the city under the $ 1.9 trillion U.S. rescue package approved by the democratically controlled Congress earlier this month.
A year after the loans were granted, Barlow said the city would use the US bailout money to completely write off all loans, immediately converting them into grants.
“Small businesses were among the hardest hit at the start of the pandemic last March, have continued to struggle with economic restrictions throughout the pandemic, and need help as they finally begin to reopen.” , the mayor said on Thursday. opens, small local businesses still face restrictions and many other challenges and that is why the immediate conversion of loan funding into grant funding is so useful and important.
The small business loan program was quickly put in place after state restrictions led many businesses to close in March 2020. The 20-month interest-free loans were intended to help businesses overcome unforeseen closures and restrictions. which for many have reduced income and limited cash flow throughout 2020..
The city made 33 loans totaling $ 276,000.
Nick Canale owns Canale’s restaurant and received an emergency loan of $ 10,000 last March, and thanked Barlow and the town, noting that “in a time of great uncertainty”, town officials have provided a crucial help.
“The emergency loan came at the perfect time and really gave us peace of mind at an extremely stressful time,” Canale said. “Throughout the pandemic, the city has been a valuable partner for local businesses like mine.”
Comic Shop owner Evan Coy said Barlow and the town’s economic development team “have shown tremendous commitment” to the small businesses in the community during a difficult time. Coy said converting loans into grants would ensure better times for all residents.
“The city of Oswego has shown time and time again that it is committed to improving our local economy through actions, not just words,” he said. “The Comic Shop is grateful to everyone involved and looks forward to serving our Oswego community for years to come.”
Businesses that received loan funding last March should immediately contact the city’s economic development office at 315-343-3795 or [email protected] to convert their loan funding into grant funding. Businesses that paid some or all of their loan funding from last year will be eligible for full grant funding and should also contact the Office of Economic Development.