• FEDERAL CORONAVIRUS AID AVAILABLE FOR KEWEENAW SMALL BUSINESSES BUT DEMONSTRATION OF NEED NECESSARY

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    March 18, 2020
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
     
     
    Joint Press Release: Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, and Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau
    March 17, 2020

    FEDERAL CORONAVIRUS AID AVAILABLE FOR KEWEENAW SMALL BUSINESSES BUT DEMONSTRATION OF NEED NECESSARY TO ACCESS LOANS
    The wave of mandated school, university and business closures caused by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is hitting many of the Keweenaw’s employers hard.  In addition to the state mandated closures, travel and public gathering restrictions along with economic uncertainties are taking a toll on many hospitality and service businesses. 
    In an effort to provide businesses the necessary funds to meet payrolls and other expenses, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus. However, before small businesses can submit applications, states like Michigan must demonstrate financial hardship caused by the virus and the resulting efforts to slow its spread.

    “The federal government has allocated $50 billion in aid to the SBA to help with mitigating the economic effects of COVID-19,” explained Brad Barnett, Executive Director of the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau. “But first, our businesses must demonstrate that they’ve been adversely impacted. That’s why it’s important our local businesses and private non-profit organizations provide their estimates of economic harm so the Governor can move forward to access this aid.”

    SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

    The SBA loans can offer long-term repayments, up to 30-year terms, in order to keep payments affordable. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
    “We’re here to help our businesses through this difficult time,” shared Tara Arens, Chamber Manager for the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce. “We encourage you to reach out if you have any questions regarding SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans, or if we’re able to provide your business support in any other way.”

    “Our local Keweenaw economic development organizations are working together to collect information and share it with our business community on how to navigate these challenges,” added Jeff Ratcliffe, Executive Director for the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance. “As conditions and support assistance change, we’ll share them with our businesses.” 

    For businesses experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus, please contact the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, or the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau to access the necessary forms.

    For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA.gov/disaster.
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    Media Contacts:
    Brad Barnett, Executive Director                                                               
    Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau             
    906.337.4579                                                                     
    Bbarnett@keweenaw.info                                          
     
    Tara Arens, Chamber Manager
    Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
    906.482.5240
    info@keweenaw.org
     
    Jeff Ratcliffe, Executive Director
    Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance
    906.482.6817
    Jeff@kedabiz.com