We all know how important small businesses are to the overall financial health of the United States. According to an April 20 Harvard Business Review article, “Businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 48% of American jobs and 43.5% of GDP. Yet while these smaller firms are an essential part of the U.S. economy, they’re often financially fragile, with little cash on hand or resources to buffer even a minor financial shock.”
At critical times like this, public power shines brightest. The ElectriCities public power communities of Apex and Lincolnton are just two examples — among many others — of how communities are stepping up and taking the initiative to keep their small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Town of Apex’s loan program will give an immediate infusion of funds to businesses that may (or may not) be waiting on federal loan programs as well. The Town has approved an appropriation of $1 million for the loan program, with a maximum of $50,000 for each business. Apex is also working with the NC Rural Economic Development Center as third party administrator of the loan program.
“Small businesses are a major part of the heartbeat to our community,” stated Apex Mayor Jacques Gilbert. “They have always aimed to make Apex thrive and now it’s our time to give back.” Interested businesses can find more information at apexeconomicdevelopment.org/loan.
Over in the western foothills of North Carolina, the City of Lincolnton is offering $300,000 in small business emergency loans to locally owned, non-franchise businesses located within the Lincolnton corporate limits during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Loans to eligible small businesses will be awarded in amounts up to $5,000 per month for up to three months, not to exceed a total of $15,000. All loans are intended to assist with business operating expenses until state or federal assistance is available or until the economic crisis passes.
It’s great to see our ElectriCities public power communities stepping up to help small businesses during this time of crisis and for keeping the lights of so many businesses burning. To learn more or apply for a loan, visit https://www.ci.lincolnton.nc.us/561/Small-Business-Emergency-Loan-Program.