The Bryan Business Council has followed the College Station city council in funding a small business loan program.
Each has contributed $250,000 dollars towards a fund, where small businesses can borrow up to $25,000 dollars to cover essential expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities.
News release from the cities of College Station and Bryan:
The City of College Station and the Bryan Business Council (BBC) have partnered with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments to create a Bridge Loan Program to assist small businesses that have seen a substantial reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Small businesses need short-term working capital to cover essential expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities. Bridge loans help businesses pay those costs until they receive more permanent assistance, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
Bridge loans of up to $25,000 are available to qualifying businesses, which must repay the loan after receiving an EIDL. The loans have a maturity of three years at an interest rate of about 3%. No payment is required for up to 6 months.
Under the funding agreement, the City of College Station and the BBC each contributed $250,000 from their economic development funds. The Brazos Valley Council of Governments administers the loans at no charge, and the Brazos Valley Small Business Development Center serves in an advisory role. The BVCOG processes the loans through its existing loan review committee, along with representatives from the cities.
In addition to the 15% reduction in revenue, reviewers consider a business’s profitability before the outbreak, its most recent tax return, personal financial statements for anyone with an ownership higher than 20%, credit score, and other loans and grants for which the business has applied or received.
“We realize the importance of a healthy economy for our residents,” College Station Mayor Karl Mooney said. “For that reason, we established the Bridge Loan Program — not as a hand-out, but a hand up. As our community looks toward putting the coronavirus pandemic in our rearview mirror, we want to do what we can to help our residents and businesses return to being vibrant and nurturing of each other.”
“We’re pleased to announce our partnership with the City of College Station and the Brazos Valley Council of Governments,” said Dr. Samuel H. Harrison, president of the Bryan Business Council. “Support of Bryan businesses is core to our mission. The Bridge Loan Program could make the difference between life and death for some small businesses in Bryan.”
“As the President of the BBC, I am pleased to announce our partnership with the City of College Station and the Brazos Valley Council of Governments,” Dr. Samuel H. Harrison said. “We strongly believe that supporting business in Bryan is our core mission. We believe the BBC Emergency Small Business Gap Financing Loan Program will play an integral part in the recovery process. The BBC met today and unanimously approved the loan agreement. I would like to personally thank all those BBC members and staff who were instrumental in its passage.”
Applications will be accepted starting immediately. To apply, email a copy of the business’s SBA loan application and supporting documents to Madison Thomas of the BVCOG at Madison.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organizers of the Brazos Valley coronavirus relief fund for non-profits and small businesses have announced they are opening a third round of grant applications. The application window starts Saturday at 9 a.m. and continues until next Thursday at noon. Click HERE for details on applying and donating at uwbv.org/covid19.
The Bryan city council held a special meeting Friday morning and approved expanding a $500,000 contribution to the Brazos Valley coronavirus relief fund to include rent and utility payments for Bryan based small businesses and non-profits.
Thursday night, the College Station city council approved setting aside $250,000 dollars for loans to College Station based small businesses. Economic development director Natalie Ruiz says applicants could receive up to $25,000 dollars. What was described as a “bridge loan” could be repaid immediately with federal money, or over a three year period with an interest rate of three percent. Ruiz says a similar program has the endorsement of the Bryan Business Council’s finance committee. A special meeting of the Bryan Business Council is scheduled for Monday afternoon to consider participating.
Click below for comments from Natalie Ruiz from the April 23, 2020 College Station city council meeting.