San Diego County supervisors unanimously agreed Tuesday, Sept. 29, to broaden the county’s $5 million small enterprise mortgage COVID aid program regionwide to small companies working in cities.

Supervisors in late April established the mortgage program initially to assist companies within the unincorporated areas which can be experiencing hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic. This system had $5 million to allocate however practically $1 million has been loaned up to now.

On the time, solely companies within the unincorporated areas with fewer than 50 workers might qualify for loans, which will be as massive as $50,000 with as much as 2 % curiosity. The loans must be paid again inside two years.

Nonetheless with Tuesday’s motion, all qualifying small companies in San Diego County — together with these working in cities — can now apply for the loans.

To date this system has offered 27 companies with loans totaling $827,000, and one other 4 companies are closing on loans totaling $125,000, in accordance with county paperwork.

County supervisors stated Tuesday that $4 million at the moment unallocated will present important aid to many extra companies.

“It solely is smart to open it as much as extra companies within the area,” stated Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who co-authored the proposal with Supervisor Jim Desmond. “Companies are nonetheless struggling and will use one other lifeline to get them by this pandemic.”

Companies working within the unincorporated areas will nonetheless obtain precedence.

Increasing the small enterprise mortgage program is one among a number of steps supervisors have taken in current months to help small companies through the pandemic.

Earlier this summer time county supervisors established a stimulus grant program utilizing a number of the remaining CARES Act funds from the federal stimulus bundle. That program offers every of the county’s 5 supervisors $3.4 million to distribute in grants, in addition to $700,000 every to concentrate on eating places.

So excess of $14.5 million in grants have been distributed, helping hundreds of companies.

In early August the board additionally unanimously adopted a proposal to streamline the application process and waive allow charges, so homes of worship and gymnasiums that may’t function indoors underneath public well being restrictions can reserve area in county parks.

Many cities all through the area even have stepped up with mortgage and grant applications focusing on small companies.

On the finish of March, the Metropolis of San Diego accredited a $6.1 million aid bundle that included grants and loans — from $10,000 to $20,000 — for metropolis companies with `100 employees or fewer, whereas the Metropolis of San Marcos put aside $3 million for a enterprise sustainability mortgage program.

In April the Metropolis of Poway created a $2 million enterprise mortgage program for companies with 50 or fewer full-time workers, and the Metropolis of Coronado opted to attract $2 million out of its reserves to assist a “Lifeline Business Loan program.”

—Charles T. Clark is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune

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