FOSTORIA, OHIO- In light of recent events, we have seen the State of Ohio and the Federal Government take decisive action to come to the aid of citizens and businesses. There is no doubt businesses have been negatively impacted, to varying degrees, by the coronavirus pandemic. With all that is being done on the national and state levels we wanted to offer a local assistance program to our small businesses here in Fostoria. The Community Improvement Corporation of Fostoria, OH in partnership with Fostoria Economic Development Corporation, the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Fostoria have developed a Small Business RLF Microloan Program.
“In working to diversify our economic development efforts in support of entrepreneurs and small business, we identified a gap in our current local funding sources and had been working, over the last few months, to create a locally controlled small business revolving loan fund. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, we have worked to alter that outlined program to assist with the unprecedented issues currently facing our small businesses” said Renee Smith, President of the Community Improvement Corporation and the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation.
The partners involved had already began the process of creating a Small Business Revolving Loan Fund which would allow local small businesses capital for start up and expansion designed to grow and strengthen the local economy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leadership took immediate action to work with the City Administration and Fostoria City Council to expedite legislation to have these monies available immediately as opposed to a few months from now. The Small Business Revolving Loan Fund has been altered to the current situation to create a Small Business Recovery Microloan Program. The purpose of the Microloan Program is to provide our local small businesses with a zero-interest loan to assist them during this national emergency or assist when the affected business during its reopening process.
“This funding is a stop gap for our small local businesses who are most vulnerable during this time. This program demonstrates our local leadership stepping up and offering what we can to assist and potentially save our small businesses from closing their doors permanently” according to Sarah Stephens Krupp, Chamber/Small Business Director of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce.
Eligible applicant businesses must be for-profit, have 5 or fewer full-time employees and be located within Fostoria City limits. Microloan funds may be used for working capital, inventory, staffing, utilities and related costs.
This funding is available to assist businesses in weathering the current national emergency and as they re-open. However, businesses can only utilize this funding one time, so we ask all potential applicants to evaluate when the funding would be most beneficial. Loans are capped at $5,000 with repayment beginning in January 2021 over a three-year period. The deadline for the Microloan requests is July 1st. These loans are designed to supplement larger funding programs available through the state and federal governments, the Small Business Administration, and other financial institutions.
“These are unprecedented times for us as a community and a nation. I am glad we have these resources and this leadership in place to create, implement, and support an initiative like this” said Eric Keckler, Mayor, City of Fostoria.
Loan applications must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Sarah@FostoriaChamber.com. All organizations involved with this program encourage you to assess all resources currently available. There are a number of programs available right now, and probably more in the future, to assist small businesses. Staff will work with any Fostoria small business to help determine which programs are right for you, at this time.