QUINCY -- Jeff Scott sees the new Adams County Small Business Emergency Loans as a lifeline to keep businesses afloat during the tough times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's going to ease a little stress on keeping the monthly bills paid," Scott said.
Scott's business, Scotties Fun Spot, was one of four getting the first loans, announced Monday, through the program funded with $250,000 from the county and $100,000 from Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials, which leads the work to administer the program.
Two Rivers Executive Director Bob Gough said the $10,000 loans to Scotties Fun Spot, the Ambiance, Terstriep Concrete and Dragon Screed will be repaid in 18 months at 1 percent interest, with no payments due within the first six months.
The program, approved in April by the Adams County Board, provides loans of up to $10,000 to small businesses in the county affected by the stay-at-home order tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're definitely trying to reach out and do what we can for county residents. As we roll through March, into April with the stay at home order and now into May, it's becoming increasingly hard for small businesses to survive," Adams County Board Vice-Chairman Bret Austin said.
"We do have quite a bit more money available. We encourage people to take advantage of it," he said. "The program is open indefinitely until we don't see a need or we run out of funds."
Businesses must have at least two employees who are not owners, and no more than 50 employees. They must prove COVID-19-related economic injury.
The loans must be used for payroll, rent or mortgage payments, insurance or utilities. Borrowers must not have any outstanding debts with the county.
The county partnered with Two Rivers and a loan committee to have "a well-vetted process" to award loans, Austin said.
The loan committee will meet again Thursday night to consider at least one new applicant for the program.