Council Member Brad Lander, Assemblyman Robert Carroll, the Hebrew Free Loan Society and The Change Reaction have joined forces to offer a new interest-free loan option for small businesses.
Hoping to fill in some of the gaps in federal loan programs, the Greg Perlman and Michael Clark Small Business Angel Fund will offer two types of loans. First, a 0% interest loan of up to $25,000 for businesses that are still in business and need support, and second, loans of $3,000 to $7,500 for independent contractors and homeowners small businesses that had to close or cease operations during the crisis. The PPP loans operate with a 1% stake.
Lander and Carroll spoke at length about the difficulties facing their districts, the 39th City Council and the 44th Assembly. Companies from these districts will be the only ones eligible to apply.
“In conversations with small business owners in my district, I have heard time and time again how difficult it is to obtain and then use federal small business assistance programs,” Lander said in a statement.
As a member of the Jewish community, Lander says he has long admired the work done by the Hebrew Free Loan Society and looked forward to working with them. For now, there is no cap on the number of loans that will be issued, he said, and those that are eligible will be approved. Within the first 24 hours of posting, ten companies had already applied.
The new loans will be repayable over 24 to 36 months, after an initial grace period of three months. Businesses must have 15 or fewer employees and normal revenues of $1 million or less to be eligible to apply, as well as on-time rent payments for the 12 months leading up to and including March of this year. Applicants must have a response within five days of applying, which can be done here.
“It’s really for very small businesses,” Lander said. “Small businesses have an even harder time getting federal programs. They are less likely to do business with large banks or have a treasurer, so this helps very small businesses [that are] more likely to have difficulty obtaining the PPP.