Just a few days after Kern County opened the applications for the Small Business Forgivable Loan Program on Tuesday, some businesses have already begun to receive funding, Ryan Alsop, Kern County’s Chief Administrative Officer, said at a press conference Thursday.
The Small Businesses Forgivable Loan Program offers financial assistance for small businesses and nonprofits in Kern County that have been severely affected by the pandemic.
The program provides $25 million in forgivable loans up to $75,000 to help businesses mitigate economic impacts of COVID-19.
In order to qualify for the program, businesses must have less than 50 employees and under $5 million in annual revenue.
The loan proceeds must must be spent in a 16-week time period. Businesses must use 34 percent of the loan proceeds to payroll and payroll-related costs; 33 percent to utilities and mortgage costs; and 33 percent for general working capital.
Four local financial institutions — Valley Republic Bank, Mission Bank, Valley Strong Credit Union and AltaOne Federal Credit Union — have partnered with the county to process applications and administer these funds to eligible applicants. Interested businesses don’t need to be customers of the banks in order to apply for the loans, nor will they be required to become customers.
Kern County is still accepting applications for the program. For more information about the program and eligibility requirements, head to KernCounty.com.
Featured photo: Tina Brown has kept her restaurant, Tina Marie’s in downtown Bakersfield, open for her customers and staff. They prepare meals for take-out. As people in Bakersfield are told to observe isolation and distancing precautions because of the Coronavirus pandemic effecting the United States and the world, the streets in Bakersfield are much less crowded during peak hours. Some businesses can remain open if they provide essential needs of the population. While many have closed doors. Photos by Henry A. Barrios for Kern Sol News