Loans are available to small businesses in Benton County through a new emergency loan fund coordinated by the Corvallis-Benton County Economic Development Office to assist businesses suffering economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund includes $100,000 from Benton County and $50,000 from Community Lending Works, a local nonprofit.
The new program will accept applications for one week, from May 7 to May 15. After the application period closes, program managers will use a lottery system to disburse the funding. Funds are expected to be approved by May 22 and disbursed shortly thereafter.
“Businesses in Benton County need economic relief, and we’ve developed a fair and transparent system to ensure that all applicants have the same chance at this round of funding,” said Kate Porsche, Corvallis-Benton County Economic Development Office manager.
The fund will provide loans in the amount of $5,000 to $10,000 each. To be eligible, businesses must have their headquarters in Benton County, have 40 or fewer employees, and have been in good financial standing prior to Governor Brown’s Executive Order No. 20-12 (Stay Home, Save Lives). Businesses within the city limits of Albany are not eligible for this program.
In addition, $45,000 of the fund will be set aside for rural or minority-owned businesses.
Per the terms of the loans, payments are waived for the first six months, and interest-only payments are due for the next six months. The remaining loan balance will be repaid over the following 48 months.
The new loan program will be discussed in detail at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 7 on on Let’s Keep Connected, a biweekly webinar for conversations about economic issues in the time of COVID-19. The webinar will feature Kate Porsche of the Corvallis Benton County Economic Development Office and Anne Whittington of the Linn Benton Community College Small Business Development Center. The conversation will be recorded and made available afterwards.