Small businesses vie for low-interest government loans on second round of stimulus program

Tuesday marked the second day of the second round of the federal government's stimulus program.

News 12 Staff

Apr 28, 2020, 4:21 PM

Updated 1,546 days ago

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Tuesday marked the second day of the second round of the federal government's stimulus program.
Small businesses across the country are vying for low-interest loans, which in many cases are forgivable.
The second round of money is expected to go as quickly as the first did, but now there's a new program.
The state comptroller is dedicating $50 million in state pension funds to low-interest loans for businesses. A third-party lender will administer the program and is guaranteeing a return to the pension fund.
"In the face of what we're all going through, the small businesses and the economic impact of the pandemic crisis, to really help small businesses, the loans have no minimum and they're no more than $350,000. Nonprofits can compete for these loans as well," says state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
That's good news for many business owners on Long Island, including those in the greenhouse industry, which has been devastated by the COVID-19 crisis.
"We applied for the federal program. Unfortunately we did not get the loan. I understand a lot of businesses on the North Fork didn't. It went to the big corporations, and those I'm sure with political ties," says Anne Trimble, of Trimble's of Corchaug.
The inclusion of nonprofits is bringing hope to groups like the Long Island Science Center in Riverhead, which is trying to maintain staff and pay rent.
"This is actually our busiest time of the year," says Cailin Kaller, of the Long Island Science Center. "We host thousands of students from all across Long Island who come in for field trips. So this is a really difficult time for us to be closed."
As for the state program, 25% of the $50 million in low interest loans will go to women- and minority-owned businesses. The state pension fund may add another $100 million to coronavirus relief programs in the future.
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