Emergency loan fund created in Lane County

Officials say the $400,000 fund will provide immediate capital for businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees.

Posted: Mar 20, 2020 1:16 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2020 6:13 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- In the wake of a growing economic disaster, Lane County governments on Friday announced an emergency loan program for small businesses.

Funded with $200,000 from Lane County and $100,000 each from Eugene and Springfield, the money will cover fixed expenses, modified operations and bridge funding for businesses, officials said.

Companies with 20 full-time employees or fewer at the end of 2019 are eligible to apply.

Also, $120,000 is reserved for businesses outside the Eugene-Springfield area.

The program will offer up to $30,000 at 2% interest with payments deferred for six months.

"It is not intended to necessarily keep employees employed through this crisis. But as businesses are having to make hard decisions about if they should just close their doors forever, or can they have a little bit of funding to help them get through with rent, with paying some of the bills they can't help from coming; this is what we intend for that money to do," said Eugene Chamber of Commerce President Brittany Quick-Warner.

Co-owner of tattoo shop Anchored Ink Tattoos Joshua South said that even with some resources available, he's concerned about the wellbeing of the artists at his store, and the health of his business.

"Most people who tattoo in the tattoo industry are self-employed. They file their own taxes individually. They're not going to be able to collect unemployment and they will be out on their own," he said.

The shop is closed for the foreseeable future and 13 artists are out of work. 

The applications will be managed by Springfield-based Community Lending Works. Applications may be submitted on its website beginning noon Sunday.

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