La Quinta launches loan program for small businesses

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Apps are now available for La Quinta’s $ 1.5 million Small Business Assistance Program to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, either due to reduced services or due to shutdown total.

The apps became available online at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Small businesses in La Quinta with 25 full-time equivalent employees or less may be eligible for 0% interest rate loans of $ 5,000, $ 10,000, $ 15,000, or $ 20,000 until 5:00 p.m. on April 30 – or until all funds have been allocated.

Up to $ 500,000 is also available exclusively for restaurants in town that are currently open for pickup and / or delivery orders.

The council allocated the funds, from the Economic Disaster Emergency Reserve, in March and staff unveiled a loan program that was unanimously approved last week in an emergency session .

Businesses eligible for the loans will have up to two years to repay the funds, starting in April 2021.

“Over the past few years, we’ve been fortunate to have built some pretty healthy and robust reserves, in part because our small businesses are committed to truly being a part of our community and our growth,” said Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Board Member. noted.

“I take this as a way to say that we are here to try to support you as much as possible so that we can stay afloat during this horrible time,” she said.

The city plans to distribute checks to approved businesses in early May, Mayor Linda Evans said. The council is ready to allocate more funds if it becomes necessary, she said.

“We understand that this is a difficult time, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak,” Evans said. “The safety and well-being of our community remains our top priority as we face a problem of enormous scale and impact. ”

The loan conditions:

  • Repayment period: 0% interest. The initial loan payment will be due after April 1, 2021 and will also be billed monthly in accordance with a loan repayment not exceeding two years. Prepayments will be accepted.
  • Loan amounts: Up to $ 20,000 per business, paid in increments of $ 5,000.
  • Loan proceeds: The funds will be used for operational needs such as lease / mortgage payments, payroll, supplies and services.
  • Where to apply: Go to the city’s website, laquintaca.gov/COVID19businessloan.
La Quinta is rolling out a zero-interest small business loan program to help city residents who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The funds come from the city’s Economic Disaster Emergency Reserve Account, which was created specifically for recessions and disasters causing significant revenue losses for the city, said Rosemary Hallick, financial services analyst.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation or postponement of major events including the BNP Paribas Open and the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals. State and county health department stay-at-home warrants and the shutdown of non-essential businesses have helped the city prepare for an estimated $ 7.05 million loss in tax revenue sales and TOT this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Sales taxes represent about a third of the city’s annual revenue. The losses are expected to continue next year.

La Quinta’s Economic Disaster Emergency Reserve Fund currently has a balance of $ 11 million. The transfer of $ 1.5 million for the Small Business Assistance Program will leave a balance of $ 9.5 million in that account, Hallick said.

WiseHive created the secure online application program for La Quinta, said Gil Villalpando, assistant city manager.

WiseHive will work with applicants and make sure all forms are completed correctly and include the necessary documents, Villalpando said.

“If a company does not qualify, we can guide them to other opportunities that exist,” Villalpando said.

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate hardship and are required to use the loan proceeds for occupancy, payroll, or operational costs.

Nominations will be reviewed and approved by an ad hoc committee, which will include Mayor Pro Tem John Peña and City Councilor Robert Radi; two members of the Finance Advisory Commission; Hallick and Villalpando.

Peña said the committee will respond quickly to requests.

“We know that small businesses are hurting and we are ready to help in any way we can,” said Peña.

Fitzpatrick is a retired landscape architect who has worked for the City of Los Angeles.

“I have been in the public service for almost 50 years and I have never seen anything as devastating as this,” said Fitzpatrick. “We really want our community, our businesses to know that the impact of this is being felt by all of us. We understand your pain and try to help you as quickly as possible.

Desert Sun reporter Sherry Barkas covers the towns of La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. She can be reached at [email protected] or (760) 778-4694. Follow her on Twitter @TDSsherry

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