As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted lives in unimaginable ways. For many business owners, particularly small business owners, it has caused significant financial turmoil and uncertainty. Fortunately for small business owners in Jacksonville, Florida, the City Council activated a COVID-19 Business Community Relief Loan Program (the “City of Jacksonville Program”) to help local businesses keep their doors open.
On Monday, April 6, 2020, the City of Jacksonville approved a partnership with Vystar Credit Union to provide small businesses flexible loans with City-provided benefits. The City of Jacksonville will provide grants and reimbursements of interest and/or principal balances to qualifying businesses, while Vystar Credit Union will provide the underwriting, processing, and servicing of the loans. The City-provided benefits include the grants in the following amounts: (i) $1,000 to each of the first 3,000 loan participants (ii) interest costs in Year 1 for all businesses (iii) interest costs in Years 2-6 if the business maintains employment of at least 50% of its pre- COVID-19 workforce (using February 29 as base employment date) and (iv) 10% of the outstanding loan balance each year if the business employs at least 100% of its pre- COVID-19 workforce.
The program will provide loans up to $100,000 with a fixed interest rate of 5.99% and flexible repayment options, including six month draw periods and interest-only payments for the first year. To be eligible for the loans, the business must have: (i) at least one year in operations and provide the most recent year’s filed tax returns for the business and all owners, (ii) between 2 and 100 employees in addition to business owners, and (iii) personal guarantees from all business owners. Nonprofits may be eligible to participate in this program.
For more information regarding eligibility and loan information, please visit the website here. We will monitor the development of small business relief programs and provide you with updates to keep you informed.