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May 11, 2020
Pawtucket Gears Up to Offer Continued Assistance to its Small Business Community
By Mayor Donald R. Grebien
The unexpected coronavirus pandemic continues to financially affect Pawtucket’s small business community, the backbone of Pawtucket’s economy. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Pawtucket, through the efforts of the Pawtucket Business Development Corp. (PBDC), responded by quickly creating an emergency loan program for small businesses.
The City has now closed on 23 loans to Pawtucket businesses and is currently working on obtaining more funds for a number of businesses on a “waiting list.” The need for businesses in our community is real. This is why we were pleased to see Bristol County Savings Bank offer assistance to the PBDC COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program, donating $50,000 that allowed us to provide assistance to five of these organizations.
PBDC’s emergency loan program provides interim relief to small businesses with 25 or fewer employees, who can demonstrate a 30 percent loss of revenue caused by the virus crisis. The loan can be used to pay operating expenses for day to day business operations which include but are not limited to payroll and rent.
The emergency loan amount of $10,000 distributed to a number of businesses came with a low 2 percent interest rate. Due to the ongoing hardships caused by COVID-19, PBDC’s loan is deferred for the first 12 months after the loan was closed. After 12 months, businesses will begin making monthly loan payments.
The City wants to hear from our small businesses. The Commerce Department conducted the Pawtucket Small Business Survey, in order to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on our local businesses and better assess how the City may assist them. Not surprisingly, it documents the continued need for financial assistance to small businesses. We are now planning to reintroduce our loan program by mid- May, by funding additional loans using an allocation of funds from the City’s CDBG COVID stimulus funding.
According to the Planning Department, the survey has received over 100 responses from Pawtucket-based small business. The food & beverage, manufacturing, general retail, and professional services industries were the sectors of the economy that we saw the highest response rates.
Based upon the responses we have received; we see that roughly 37 percent of businesses are temporarily closed while another 43 percent are open but with limitations. Due to the closures and limitations, 47 percent of the responding businesses reported having lost 75 percent or more of their normal revenue stream. Over half of respondents stated the need to access additional capital to continue finance their operations.
Now, the recently assembled Pawtucket Business Outreach Team, made up of dedicated individuals from the business and non-profit sectors, will assist the City in developing strategies for addressing the needs of our local businesses during these challenging times.
Pawtucket will continue to stand by its small business community and help them weather these uncertain times.
For questions regarding how the City assists Pawtucket businesses during the COVID-19 emergency please contact us at email@example.com or please call us at 728-0500 ext. 437.
Donald Grebien is the mayor of city of Pawtucket, R.I.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE
Pawtucket – The unexpected coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for the small businesses. In response, Mayor Donald R. Grebien and the Pawtucket City Council announced a new emergency loan program, created by the City’s Pawtucket Business Development Corporation (PBDC), to quickly get funds into the hands of business owners as soon as possible.
PBDC will require business owners submitting the application to either be low-moderate income or to provide documentation that at least one (1) low-moderate job be either created or retained. The application will include Income guidelines.
In these trying times, PBDC’s COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program provides interim relief to small Pawtucket-based businesses with twenty-five (25) or fewer employees, who can demonstrate a loss of revenue caused by the virus crisis. The loan can be used to pay operating expenses for day to day business operations which include but are not limited to payroll and rent.
The emergency loan amount of $10,000 comes with a 2 percent interest rate. Due to the ongoing hardships caused by COVID-19 virus outbreak, PBDC’s loan will be deferred for the first twelve (12) months after the loan is administered. After 12 months, businesses will begin to make their monthly loan payment. After repayment begins, the businesses will have two (2) years to complete full repayment of the loan.
“The coronavirus crisis is impacting our small businesses, the backbone of Pawtucket’s economy. PBDC’s emergency loan program is geared to quickly providing financial relief to small businesses to assist them during this pandemic,” said Mayor Grebien. “I thank the Pawtucket City Council and PBDC for their leadership in providing assistance and working with our small businesses.”
“We are compiling all federal, state, and nonprofit resources to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19 on the City’s website,” said Commerce Director Jeanne Boyle, noting that this information will be updated on a timely basis. “Pawtucket will continue to explore additional ways that it can assist small business owners throughout these times,” added Boyle.
Boyle stated that funding is limited and applications will be reviewed on a first-come-first serve basis. Only completed applications, signed and dated, will be considered ready for review.
Businesses can download the application online and mail the application or drop it off attention: Public Business Development Corporation, City of Pawtucket, 137 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860. Please contact Herb Weiss, the City's Economic and Cultural Affairs Officer with any questions or comments at his office (401) 728-0500, ext.437 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions regarding how the City may assist your business during the COVID 19 Emergency please contact us at email@example.com or please call us at 728-0500 ext. 437.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2020
Contact: Wil Arboleda
401-728-0500 ext. 358
- Mayor Donald R. Grebien