Small businesses in Danville affected by the coronavirus pandemic can seek help locally, following a vote by the Industrial Development Authority on Tuesday morning.
The IDA voted 5-0 during its regular meeting to approve a resolution authorizing three new emergency grant and loan programs to help local small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19.
IDA board members Max Glass and Richard Turner were absent.
The financial assistance includes a $300,000 small business emergency loan program, a $75,000 marketing and e-commerce matching grant and $50,000 to $75,000 in small business rent relief.
“The program is intended to help businesses keep their employees and stay afloat during a time of economic hardship,” Danville Economic Development Director Corrie Teague Bobe wrote of the small business emergency loan program in a letter to the IDA board. “It is meant to bridge the gap for what may be a shortened financial hardship period.”
For the $300,000 loan program, businesses hoping to access that money will be required to apply for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program beforehand, Bobe said during the meeting.
They also must contact their local lender before applying for part of the $300,000.
Each loan would be from $5,000 to $20,000.
Loans for up to a year will be at 0% interest and those for three to five years will have a 3% to 5% interest rate depending on credit worthiness.
Of that money, $177,345 will come from the IDA’s city-funded loan account and $122,655 will come from Danville’s economic development office incentive account.
The second $75,000 grant is to help businesses with their marketing efforts and e-commerce upgrades, with a maximum of $500 per grant.
“A lot of businesses may not have had an online platform [before the pandemic],” Bobe told IDA board members.
The money would come in the form of reimbursement for costs.
Of the $75,000, $50,000 will come from the economic development office’s incentive account and $25,000 will be provided by the River District Association.
The third item — small business rent relief — includes $50,000 that could expand to $75,000 later, Bobe said. The grant will be up to $3,000 per business and will provide reimbursement for one month’s rent.
The city’s economic development office incentive account is providing $50,000 of the $75,000, with the remaining $25,000 coming from the River District Association. The association hopes to get its share through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.