It’s hoped that Decatur’s Small Business Loan program can help local retailers and restaurants—like these on the city square—get through COVID-19. The popular Square Pub (foreground) has closed for good, though it shut down shortly before the pandemic. Bill Banks file photo for the AJC

Decatur exceeds $500,000 in emergency small business loan program

Applications for Decatur’s Emergency Small Business Loan Program exceeded $500,000, or the combined funds offered by the city ($400,000 donated) and the Decatur Development Authorities ($100,000). Add to this an additional $30,000 in charitable donations through Legacy Decatur.

The application period ended May 15 but residents can continue making tax-deductible donations through Legacy Decatur at http://www.legacydecatur.org through the end of the month.

Counting all three sources (the city, the DDA and Legacy Decatur) Decatur is now only $20,000 shy of hitting its goal of $550,000 available for loans.

Angela Threadgill, the city’s Planning & Economic Development Director, and the DDA Executive Director, said the loan program’s oversight committee will review all applications and requested loan amounts. She added that a determination should be made by the end of next week if funds are oversubscribed, or if they roughly surpass that $550,000.

If the loan funds are oversubscribed, a lottery will be held most likely the first week of June.

Businesses eligible for loans are those within Decatur’s city limits employing between two and 30 full-time or full-time equivalent employees and were operational as of March 1, 2020. The no-interest loans are for four years with repayment beginning 12 months after the state of emergency order is lifted. After that date repayment can last for up to three years.

“Our local businesses are an integral part of our community’s character,” Threadgill told the AJC. “They have supported so many community fundraisers in the past and it is heartening to see the community supporting them in turn.”

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