City Council establishes Small Business Emergency Loan Program

The City of Cottage Grove has announced the opening of the application window for the Cottage Grove Small Business Emergency Loan Program, which began July 1.

The city has set aside $100,000 for small business assistance, with cuts to a planned “visioning” project, recent city layoffs and taxes from alcohol, cigarette and marijuana sales contributing to the city’s ability to establish the fund, said City Manager Richard Meyers last month.

Part of these funds will be used as a match for $25,414 from Business Oregon in a grant program and a remaining $74,500 will be loaned through the City of Cottage Grove loan program.

The grant portion of the program is anticipated to open up within the next week. 

City councilors voted to move forward with the plan during a May 11 City Council meeting, but getting the program up and running has been bogged down by the city’s efforts to secure the grant funding through Business Oregon and county negotiations.

In developing the program, the city is working with Community LendingWorks, a financial institution based in the Willamette Valley which works with organizations to create community loan and grant programs.

Under the plan, companies within Cottage Grove city limits may apply for a maximum of up to $10,000.

The loan program is targeting Cottage Grove-based businesses which have 20 employees or less.

According the loan’s initial proposal, awardees would pay no interest for the first six months and a “very low interest” following that, which would cover the costs for Community LendingWorks to run the program, thus ensuring an unbiased third party oversees awards and funding operations.

Ideally, loans which are paid back will return to the pool and will allow the city to use the funding again in case of any future emergencies.

After the application window closes, with a date yet to be announced, loans will be awarded to businesses that meet the application criteria.

If there are more loan applications than funding available, applications will be selected by lottery for funding.

Though the site had yet to be updated as of press time, applicants are directed to apply for the emergency loan or grant at the Community LendingWorks webpage for information and application materials at communitylending

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