Officials advise Summit County businesses to act quickly to apply for small business loans to avoid long wait times |

Officials advise Summit County businesses to act quickly to apply for small business loans to avoid long wait times

The Park Record.

Federal officials are advising Utah businesses to apply for small-business loans quickly, as the processing time for the millions of dollars of funding will likely increase as the program becomes more popular.

Businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak can apply for loans of up to $2 million that are repayable over 30 years. For non-profits, the interest rate is 2.75%, while small businesses are charged 3.75%.

“These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred,” wrote Ian Lorenzana, a U.S. Small Business Administration spokesperson. “The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion.”

The money comes directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Lorenzana wrote, and applicants do not have to apply through a bank. Processing times are expected to be 2-3 weeks, he wrote, with the money coming approximately five days after an application has been processed. The wait time is expected to increase as applications pour in. Lorenzana added that applications from Utah began arriving Wednesday.

Summit County elected officials said they were trying to ascertain their financial position in anticipation of trying to aid local small businesses.

On Thursday, Salt Lake City announced $1 million in emergency, 0% interest loans to small businesses, capped at $20,000 each.

County Council Chair Doug Clyde said that’s the kind of thing the county might pursue, possibly in partnership with Park City. But before that can happen, the county needs to determine how much lost tax revenue to expect.

Summit County Economic Development Director Jeff Jones said Thursday that internal and external teams are in the process of evaluating both community needs and available county resources.

Park City Mayor Andy Beerman said the focus now is on slowing the spread of the coronavirus, but helping the economy get back on its feet is an issue he anticipated the municipal government would address soon.

He added that the Park City Chamber/Bureau had convened a task force on the issue with Park City Councilor Max Doilney acting as the city’s representative.

“I think small businesses are part of the bedrock of a community like ours and so, in the ways that are appropriate, I absolutely think we should help them,” Beerman said.

Clyde said the county was also meeting with the Chamber/Bureau and other business leaders to begin to chart a way out of the situation. County courthouse attorneys were also working to determine what, exactly, the government had the authority to do.

He added that the ski industry as a whole has proven resilient when dealing with disruptions like a terrible snow year or a catastrophe like Sept. 11.

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