Money still available in Charleston loan fund to help businesses, mayor says

RAW VIDEO: Money still available in Charleston loan program to help small businesses in pandemic

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg encouraged Charleston-area small businesses struggling in the pandemic to consider applying for a low-interest loan from a fund in which money is still available.

Tecklenburg praised some local businesses that have taken the loans and used funds to keep their businesses going and employees on the payroll during the pandemic at a Tuesday afternoon news conference from Charleston City Hall.

Charleston Local Development Corporation CEO Steve Saltzman said approximately $400,000 is available in the fund for businesses. As loans are paid off, that money becomes available for loans to other businesses, he said.

The COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund was created in September to help businesses through an $850,000 revolving loan fund.

Saltzman said the program’s loan program reached a magnitude bigger than it has ever been.

“The loans that we make, these are below market interest rate loans of 4% and are completely uncollateralized,” he said.

The $850,000 will be used to make initial loans, with a minimum of $10,000, maximum of $100,000, according to a release from the city.

Saltzman said most loans are typically paid off in three years, but the Charleston LDC works with businesses to find a program that is best for the business.

The loans may be used for working capital to hire or retain employees or permanent working capital to fund enhancements and improvements necessary to comply with COVID-19 safety precautions and/or develop new models that reach customers who are spending differently because of COVID.

Several loan recipients attended the news conference. including B&S Snack Bar manager Morgan Smith; Marquee Limo’s Sophia Marzouca-Hutchinson and Mike Wise; Grit Box Fitness’s Cody Cooper; Magnolia Center’s Jeff and Robin Brooks; and Sabatino Covollo of Sabatino’s Pizza.

Businesses that wish to apply can call 843-973-7298 or email info@charlestonldc.org.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.