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Loans Available For Small Utah Businesses Hit Hard By COVID-19 Pandemic

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Governor Gary Herbert has announced a program to offer zero-interest loans to Utah-based small businesses.

The program, announced Monday afternoon, is called Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loans.

Qualifying businesses can get loans from $5,000 to $20,000 for up to 60 months. Not only are the loans zero interest, but payments will also be deferred for up to 12 months. The bridge loans are for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money is to be used for up to three months of demonstrated operating expenses.

“Because the bridge loan program uses approximately $8 million in repurposed state economic development funds, GOED will use a minimum of 25% of the funds for rural Utah businesses,” according to a news release from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“We hope to add more funds in the future,” said the GOED’s Executive Director Val Hale.

Interested businesses can submit applications beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Applications can be filled out online.

Non-profits will not be allowed to apply during the first round of applications which ends Friday, April 3. Hale said the second round of applications starts Monday, April 6, and non-profits will be able to apply then.

“We hope that this loan program will help keep Utah workers employed and businesses open for business, at least in some fashion, as we face today’s difficult challenges and uncertain health and economic conditions,” Hale said.

A committee, to be chaired by Hale, will review the applications weekly. They must also get approval from the GOED Board. Businesses must apply online and provide supporting documents that meet all criteria.

Qualifying businesses will get an email at the beginning of the following week to explain whether they will get one of the loans.

Bridge Loan Criteria

  • Businesses must be established and licensed before January 1, 2020, and in good standing with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code (will be verified here).
  • Applicants must have employees on their payroll for whom they have had payroll taxes withheld (i.e., W-2 employees).
  • Applicants must provide six months proforma of estimated lost revenue or other documented loss evidence.
  • No collateral requirements.
  • Eligible loan uses include working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of operations.
  • Receiving other forms of emergency funding will NOT disqualify an applicant from receiving loan funds through this program.
  • Still, companies must disclose if they have applied for emergency funding from other sources.

Coronavirus Resources  

How Do I Prevent It?  

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:  

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick  
  • Avoid touching your face  
  • Stay home when you are sick  
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash  
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  

The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.  

How To Get Help  

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.   

Additional Resources  

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov. 

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