The East Tennessee Development District, headquartered in Alcoa, receives more than $ 800,000 in federal funds to use for turnaround loans to businesses and nonprofits in 16 counties.
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced in a press release Thursday that the Economic Development Administration is providing $ 13.6 million in aid grants to restore coronavirus aid, relief and security economic, distributed among seven development districts of Tennessee.
Different from the popular paycheck protection program, the grant will manifest itself in every district in the form of a “revolving loan fund” – a source of money that can be reallocated to more applicants as they go. ‘it is reimbursed.
Locally, ETDD obtains a total of $ 814,000. According to officials, the maximum loan amount will be $ 200,000 and the minimum will be $ 25,000.
ETDD directors received confirmation that the grant program had the green light on Monday, even though they knew it was coming longer than that.
“Any business in our 16-county area is eligible,” ETDD executive director Terry Bobrowski said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “And they can use it for almost any purpose.”
Bobrowski said that while companies or nonprofits that are able to score the loan money will have to repay it, the benefit of getting a loan from ETDD is that the rates and schedules of payment will be “relaxed”.
What exactly “relaxed” means will depend on the candidates’ circumstances, he added.
While anyone can apply for the loan, not everyone can be accepted. ETDD will have the discretion to adjust interest rates and terms based on factors such as credit, available assets, and other factors, including how entities have been hit hard by the virus.
“We would consider a loan of an ice cream truck up to someone who might want to use this program to amortize funding for a much larger project,” Bobrowski said.
This new localized lending opportunity comes as other parts of the CARES Act like PPP and weekly unemployment benefits expire. But federal officials stuck to the “any help” principle when promoting the program.
“These investments will provide small businesses in Tennessee with the capital they need to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future,” Ross said in the statement.
Bobrowski said, “The purpose of this program is to kind of fill a funding gap that exists for some businesses that might not be able to go to a bank and get a loan due to their situation. . We are an alternative to this.
“Sometimes a little help, a more affordable loan package, can make the difference between pursuing a business,” he added, noting that there was especially hope that they could help non-profit organizations that do not have access to conventional lending options.
Those who wish to apply can call ETDD 865-273-6003 and ask for Bobrowski by name, he said.