LANCASTER – The Lancaster City Council recently approved a measure to forgive Stand Strong Small Business Recovery loans awarded to local businesses deemed “non-essential” by the State and County health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic to help keep restaurants, bars, gyms, and hair salons in the community open into 2022.
The city originally launched the Stand Strong Small Business Recovery loan program in March 2020, within a week of California declaring a state of emergency. The loan program was originally meant to help locally-owned small businesses survive when the state locked down. However, these businesses are still struggling as the pandemic continues, so city officials believe loan forgiveness could provide relief to those hit hardest.
“In forgiving these business loans, we are positive all of our treasured and special local businesses will be able to continue to serve our community and remain a staple in Lancaster for years to come,” Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a news release.
In 2020, qualifying businesses were able to apply for loans between $5,000 and $20,000 to help with necessities, including rent, payroll, utilities, services, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, and anything else the business may have needed to recover. The city of Lancaster approved 37 loans, totaling $678,267 in funding.
With the City Council’s decision, 28 loans were forgiven, which totals $557,267 in funds that would have been repaid. The city will use federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to reimburse Lancaster’s General Fund.
To learn more about Lancaster’s business resources, visit cityoflancasterca.org/business/business-resources-economic-development.
[Information via news release from the city of Lancaster.]