April 8, 2020
Below are some examples of how NDC is helping our clients with stop-gap measured until federal programs are up and running.
Maximizing Your Community’s Existing Resources and Programs
EDA Revolving Loan Funds: The Economic Development Administration (part of the Department of Commerce) recently provided guidance about how to modify lending rules for existing Revolving Loan Funds, which many communities already have. This is a quick way for localities to provide immediate assistance to the small business community with low-interest loans and deferred payments. In communities where NDC Field Staff have assisted with RLFs – such as Los Angeles County and in Washington State – loans have already been approved and money is being deployed.
Emergency/Disaster Loan Funds: NDC is assisting client cities to redirect emergency loan fund monies to provide small loans that can be as low as zero percent interest. These flexible loan programs are designed to be fast and easy to secure with minimal paperwork and deferred payments. NDC’s client communities – such as Salt Lake City and Syracuse — have already deployed small business loans using existing emergency funding.
Grant Funding: NDC can provide guidance on how to set up a business disruption grant program by identifying funding streams and developing eligibility criteria. This could be a generalized grant program or targeted grant program to solve specific problems for vulnerable people who are not eligible for assistance under recently passed federal legislation. Grant programs can supplement an existing RLF or provide immediate help if an RLF does not exist. For example, NDC is providing assistance to the City of Seattle to set up a grant program by redirecting existing funding streams.
Community Development Block Grants: Under current rules, no additional permission is needed to utilize CDBG funding for COVID-19 small business relief; however, eligibility and lending criteria do need to be worked out. Existing funding can be used for grants or RLFs; supporting essential nonprofits; and workforce development and training. NDC Field Staff are currently assisting several localities to set up programs using existing CDBG funds.