A group of businesses in Calexico wasted no time to apply for a loan program that was created to help them survive the economic impacts the pandemic has caused to them and their livelihoods.
In an effort to support local businesses get back on their feet, the Calexico City Council approved a series of items at their Sept. 16 meeting to support those businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. Within ten days of opening the application process, the City of Calexico COVID-19 Business Stabilization Program already exhausted all of its funds.
Calexico City Manager Miguel Figueroa said they are looking at issuing twenty loans to those that met the criteria. Those that qualified have already been issued a letter letting them know they will be receiving the funds. All those that will receive the loan had all their documentation ready when they applied, Figueroa said.
“We will be ready to cut some checks in the coming days,” Figueroa said. “We are also looking at doing a free of charge, marketing/advertising campaign for all businesses in Calexico that wish to participate. We want to make sure we are helping as a city by getting them to promote their service, their product, through the proper communication channels so they can benefit from that.”
Figueroa added that when he presented this item to the city council, he wanted to make sure their general fund was taken care of also because of the COVID-19 related expenses the city has incurred.
“My priority, along with assisting businesses, was to make sure that if there had been any expenditure through our general fund, that those also be covered through the CARES Act allocation given that’s an allowed activity,” Figueroa said. The CARES Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump that gives a $2 trillion economic relief package to help state, local and tribal governments navigate through this pandemic.
The COVID-19 Business Stabilization Lending Program in Calexico was established to help mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic on the small business community by committing $150,000 from the CARES Act. Both for-profit businesses and non-profit corporations located within the city were eligible to apply for a loan of up to $7,500. All applicants must have a valid City business license.
Funds may be used to cover short-term working capital needs, such as payroll costs, rent, routine real estate, and equipment financing payments, utilities, or losses due to destabilizing events. The applicant would be eligible for a forgiveness clause should the entity prove that it has maintained or hired back the previous workforce.