Louisville mayor announces loan program to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 outbreak

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Restaurants are struggling, and local shops are closing.

“According to the Wall Street Journal, most businesses have 15 days worth of cash and so that 15 days has gone by very quickly,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Now in a partnership between LHOME, Render Capital, Greater Louisville, Lenderfit Funds and Louisville Metro Government, the Small Business Continuity Loan Program has been created.

“They need cash – they need a bridge to weather this storm,” Jennifer Rubenstein, director of the Louisville Independent Business Alliance said.

It’s designed to help out the smallest businesses, which they define as 10 full-time employees or less. Those who qualify can receive a loan for up to $25,000 at zero interest for 12 months.

50Lou on Frankfort Avenue is just one example of a local shop that would qualify.

“We’re still managing how to figure out what we can do personally because every case is going to be different,” Terri Ross, 50Lou owner, said.

Ross said they’ve been thinking through solutions for weeks.

“I only just closed on a building the 27th of February. You know who I called on March 10th, my mortgage lender saying ‘can I have forbearance or at least interest only or something. They we’re gracious enough to do that.”

Many others aren’t as lucky and need the money fast which is why the chief of Louisville Forward Mary Ellen Wiederwohl said this specifically focuses on businesses most impacted by the executive orders and closures.

“This is with our partners an attempt to really get that capital out on the street quickly, keep them open and that’s why we’re calling it a continuity loan we don’t want to lose any of those small businesses while we wait for other capital to be deployed.”

Wiederwohl said many of them might have more access to capital depending on their size, how long they’ve been in business and their type of business.

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