Lima launches new small business loan program

LIMA — The city of Lima has announced two new programs to aid small businesses. The Small Business Revolving Loan and the Small Business Facade Revolving Loan will be available to eligible businesses for equipment, inventory or exterior needs.

“In total, we have set aside $700,000 for assistance for small businesses,” Mayor Sharetta Smith said. “We have four programs. Two programs we announced earlier this year. The micro business loan (Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant) is for micro businesses that were affected by COVID. There is also a loan for minority women and veteran businesses (Historically Disadvantaged Microenterprise Loan Program) as well. Today, we announced two additional programs: the $5,000 facade improvement loan and a $5,000 loan that businesses can use for working capital or other needs.”

Each program has a separate list of requirements and eligibility to be approved for the loans. The small business revolving loan program requires small businesses within the city to have five or fewer employees, to have owners over the age of 18 and be for-profit.

The small business facade loan requires applicants to own the property within the city, be over the age of 18 and match funds of at least 50%. The business can be for-profit or non-profit. The building must also have a street-facing entrance.

“The difference between these two programs and the ones we had earlier this year is those programs are grants,” Smith said. “These two programs are revolving loans. They have a three-percent interest rate and do require some match from the business owner. We intentionally created a revolving loan fund because we want to be able to replenish this fund to continue to help small businesses.”

Smith also said small businesses are the “backbone” of the economy creating new jobs and driving innovation.

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Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.