By Luke Phillips
Starting a new business? Expanding your business? Trying not to go out of business? The city of Holtville wants to help.
The Holtville City Council recently approved the implementation of the city’s Economic Development Business Assistance Loan Program and is offering low-interest loans to qualifying local businesses seeking to expand or retain their workforce.
The program is being funded through a $300,000 allocation from the 2009/10 California Community Economic Enterprise Fund.
Businesses owners must meet several eligibility requirements before being considered for a loan. Applicants must be a legal business operating within the Holtville city limits and possess the proper business licenses and insurance. Businesses will also be required to create at least one new job for every $35 borrowed. Funds may also be borrowed if a business can prove that they will closing down or cutting staff if they are not approved for a loan.
Funds borrowed through the program are limited to eligible costs. They may be used for operating capital, furniture and equipment, rehabilitation of owned or leased buildings, purchasing manufacturing equipment, refinancing existing debt, purchase of property and many other business improvement projects.
There are also several federal requirements that must be met. Applicants must comply with environmental, loan underwriting, and prevailing wage standards.
City staff will be available to help accepted applicants with technical issues such as loan underwriting.
The program will offer loans of up to $105,000 and will have an interest rate of 3 percent, which can be adjusted if the investment causes the business to have an excessive profit. There will be no up-front cost or fees to borrowers, but a $750 loan processing fee will be charged upon closing of the loan.
For anyone interested in taking part in the business assistance loan program, information packets are available at Holtville City Hall, or you can call council member Bianca Padilla at (760) 337-3883 for more information.
By Luke Phillips