The Winona Port Authority gave the city the go-ahead Thursday to issue loans to small and medium-sized businesses from Tier 1 of its emergency loan fund.
The fund was established in April to assist local businesses that had been hurt by restrictions to combat COVID-19.
Originally, the fund had two tiers — with Tier 1 applicants eligible for up to $6,000 and Tier 2 applicants eligible for up to $20,000. Since the establishment of the fund, all funds for Tier 2 have been exhausted, but the city is still receiving applications.
So far, the city has issued 23 loans to local businesses and has two loans pending.
With the port’s approval, the remaining $74,900 in Tier 1 of the emergency loan fund can be used to provide borrowers up to $20,000.
“The idea is that we would be making loans between $1 and $20,000 because each business varies on what their needs are,” Winona director of economic development Lucy McMartin said.
As was the case when the fund was established back in April, loans will be zero percent interest, with repayment beginning in January 2021 and can be amortized for up to seven years.
Aside from the small to medium-sized businesses that eligible for the fund, according to the request presented to the port, nonprofits are not eligible at this time.
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