Hamilton County to roll out forgivable loan program for small businesses

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio – Small businesses in the county that have yet to receive federal funding will soon be able to apply for a $ 10,000 forgivable loan, Commissioner Denise Driehaus said.

The loans, made possible through the use of $ 5 million in federal funding from the CARES Act, will be made to businesses that have not received money through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“We are trying to help small businesses that have not received federal assistance. It’s not that they weren’t necessarily qualified for the P3; they just didn’t get it. The money ran out before they could get help, ”Driehaus said.

The PPP is part of the CARES Act, a $ 2.2 trillion stimulus bill aimed at supporting the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA’s $ 350 billion loan program ran out of money in 14 days, leaving more than 700,000 loan applications unfinished.

Holly Christmann, deputy county administrator, said forgivable loans can be used for rent, utilities, inventory, payroll, license renewals or capital improvements to comply with reopening guidelines .

The loan will be canceled if the company can keep or create at least one full-time job within three months of receiving the funds, Christmann said.

To be eligible, companies must:

  • Did not receive dollars through PPP
  • Have less than $ 1 million in gross income
  • Submit documents showing the company impacted revenues by around 50% due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Christmann said these guidelines are preliminary; the program should be operational in a few weeks.

Officials expect an overwhelming response to the program, Christmann said.

“It’s a reality that we’re seeing across the country in programs similar to this one,” Christmann said. “It’s a concern; however, this concern should not prevent us from taking action and trying to be a strong partner with our business community… ”

The program could be expanded depending on demand, Driehaus said.

“We’re prepared to increase that amount if we find the need is greater than $ 5 million… we’re not limited by the federal government on how much we spend in this space,” Driehaus said.

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