June 22, 2024

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Oswego Village Board To Discuss Coronavirus Small Business Loans

OSWEGO, IL — The Village of Oswego announced today that it was considering launching loan and grant programs for small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis. The issue will be discussed at next week’s village board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday April 7.

If passed, the program would seek to limit the economic damage small businesses are currently enduring by offering them monetary assistance valued between $2,500 and $5,000. These funds could be used to help businesses pay for rent, re-start after a long slow period or purchase inventory for items of which the business may have run dry.

Should the programs be authorized by the village board, business owners can contact Economic Development Director Corinna Cole at [email protected] or at 630-551-2334 to apply.

Here is the full text of the village’s announcement of the program:

OSWEGO, IL – On Tuesday, March 31, the Village of Oswego announced that the Village Board will discuss creating a series of grant and loan programs designed to help small businesses in Oswego that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and related closures during its April 7 committee of the whole meeting.

“Perhaps now more than ever, it’s important to support our small businesses,” said Village President Troy Parlier. “Our small business community is the heart and soul of Oswego and we need to do what we can to help them weather these difficult times.”

The programs as proposed will include grants and loans for marketing, rent assistance, and expenses related to restarting business during and following the crisis:

  • The Downtown Marketing Grant, which has already been authorized, will award $3,000 to the Oswego Downtown Association to immediately begin marketing of all downtown businesses collectively to keep downtown Oswego in shoppers’ minds and highlight businesses offering promotions during the current shut-down. Another $3,000 will be awarded once stay at home orders are lifted to promote awareness of downtown businesses as a whole.

  • The Rent Assistance Loan Program, designed to both help small businesses and maintain the stability of Oswego’s commercial real estate market, will award small loans to businesses shut down during the Stay at Home order to help them cover rent payments. Businesses can apply for up to 50% of their monthly lease for two months with a maximum loan of $5,000, or for one month with a maximum loan of $2,500. The total program budget would be $50,000.

  • The Restart Loan Program will loan businesses up to $5,000 each to help businesses that had to close or substantially reduce their operations ramp up again. The low-interest loans can help fund purchasing inventory, early payroll costs, and other expenses businesses are likely to incur to get started again. The total program budget would be $50,000.

Oswego’s small business programs are designed to complement small business stimulus included in the federal CARES Act, signed into law Friday, and state programs that have already been announced.

“We’ve made calls to business owners of all kinds throughout Oswego over the past two weeks and listened to what their biggest anxieties are right now,” said Economic Development Director Corinna Cole. “These programs are a response to that, designed to help bridge gaps and get our business community to the other side of this crisis.”

The programs will be funded by repurposing the Village’s existing economic development revolving loan fund. Each program has caps on available dollars, and businesses applying will need to demonstrate their ability to repay loans and firm plans for reopening following the crisis.

Once authorized, additional information on the Rent Assistance and Restart Loan programs, including eligibility requirements will be available at www.oswegoil.org/economic-development.

To apply once funding becomes available after April 7, business owners should contact Economic Development Director Corinna Cole at [email protected] or 630-551-2334.

Get help applying for state and federal funding
In addition to these Village-funded programs, Oswego’s economic development staff is monitoring state and federal programs as they become available and working with businesses to help them identify and apply for larger loans and grants available from the federal government and the State of Illinois.

“We have reached out to hundreds of businesses, but have not yet reached everyone,” Cole said. “I’d encourage any business in town that is suffering as a result of the COVID-19 crisis to contact us so we can better understand the needs of your business, match you to available resources, and offer technical assistance for your applications.”

Business owners can contact the Economic Development Department by calling 630-551-2334 or emailing [email protected].

In addition, Oswegrow.com, the site for Oswego small businesses and entrepreneurs, has a special COVID-19 page constantly updated with additional resources and ideas for businesses.

Support your local business community
Finally, the Village of Oswego continues to call on residents to continue to support the small businesses in our community whenever possible.

“Oswego’s small business owners are our friends and neighbors,” Parlier said. “Shopping with them however you’re able, whether it’s takeout for dinner or placing an online order with one of our local retailers, is not just a lifeline for our small businesses, it’s one way we can come together as a community, even while we’re staying apart.”

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This article originally appeared on the Oswego Patch

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