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Northwest Georgia Regional Commission to provide COVID-19 relief loans to small businesses

Alliance for Dade Spokesperson Jane Dixon announced on Sep. 3 at the County Weekly Update that the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission received a $500,000 grant that will be used to help small businesses in Dade County affected by COVID-19.


Small business owners may apply through a loan process for a loan ranging in funding from $3,000 to $50,000 and “possibly more.” The funds are available to assist businesses who have had to reopen after a temporary closure, retain, hire or re-hire employees, pay vendors with significantly aged payables and purchase of needed machinery and equipment.


“It is well worth a small business owner’s effort to apply,” Dixon said.


According to a press release from the NWGRC, businesses must be able to demonstrate a credit worth history prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amount of years in operation, industry sector type, business and personal credit scores and business cash flow will be given “weighted” preference for approval.


A minimum FICO credit score of 650 is expected. However, scores below 650 will also be considered.


The funding from the loan must be used only for working capital and inventory, equipment, machinery and any other approved costs. Cash-out to owners is not allowed.


According to the press release, ineligible businesses are those that have an owner that has had a previous loss to the federal government, a bankruptcy in the past seven years, a tax lien or an active collection against them that is not eligible.


Interest rates will be based on the merits of the application and will range from -5% fixed for the term of the loan, which can last up to seven years. A one-time loan application fee of $150 will be charged for each application upon approval.


Those interested in applying for a loan through the NWGRC should contact the Alliance for Dade at 706-657-4488.

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