City of Columbia opens applications for Small Business Stabilization Forgivable Loan Fund
Mar 30, 2020 09:42AM
By David Dykes
The City of Columbia has opened applications for the Small Business Stabilization Forgivable (SBSF) Loan Program intended to provide small businesses immediate assistance that are struggling to access capital and keep their doors open due to the impact of COVID-19.
The SBSF program is open to eligible businesses within the corporate limits of Columbia that can demonstrate revenue decreases resulting from COVID-19.
The city defines a small business as a business with 50 employees or less. Due to the severity of the COVID-19 impact, the program is open to businesses with up to 100 employees, city officials said. Priority will be given to businesses with five or fewer employees, and businesses with up to 50 employees, the officials said.
The program guidelines and application have been placed on the city’s website at www.columbiasc.gov. If a business can't complete an application online, it is encouraged to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance. Questions regarding the program can also be directed to email@example.com.
On March 17, city officials released a small business survey geared at understanding the COVID-19 related impacts and needs of small businesses throughout Columbia.
Results of the survey were used in the development of the SBSF Loan Program. City officials also encouraged businesses to consider other programs funded through SBA, https://www.sba.gov/disaster.
The city's program will remain open for applications until all funds have been committed.
The program guidelines and application, along with other information targeted at supporting small businesses can be viewed at the City of Columbia website: https://www.columbiasc.gov/obo.
City council members discussed funding the SBSF program in a council session March 20th and received program guidelines during a council session March 26.
Council members voted unanimously to fund the program and directed staff to open applications as quickly as possible.