Additional emergency loans weighed for local businesses

Jefferson County Economic Development. Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — The Jefferson County Local Development Corporation is planning a second round of emergency funding for businesses caught up in the coronavirus financial crisis.

JCLDC CEO Donald C. Alexander said the economic development agency already has distributed emergency funding to 17 businesses, with another 13 requesting loans.

As of Monday, the JCLDC approved $170,000 of the $200,000 set aside for the Emergency Working Capital Grant/Loan Program. He plans to ask the JCLDC board on Thursday for another $100,000 for the program. Local businesses can now borrow up to $10,000.

Mr. Alexander said the shutdown of the local economy has left dozens of small businesses in need of help to survive. He thinks as many as 50 businesses don’t know if they’ll ever be able to reopen.

“We’ll help every way we can,” he said.

So far, the loans have been provided to a variety of businesses, including wineries, dairy farms, a couple of restaurants, a grocery store and a paving company. The companies range from 1.6 to 15 employees.

With a total of $500,000, the JCLDC hopes to provide another $200,000 in loans to businesses after they are able to reopen.

Under the program, businesses with under 20 full-time employees can borrow up to $10,000, of which 25 percent will be converted to a grant. Terms also include 3 percent interest-only payments for 12 months and then 60 months principal and interest.

The Watertown Local Development Corp., also known as the Watertown Trust, and the North Country Alliance are offering similar loans.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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