JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayor Lenny Curry unveiled the terms of a small business loan program passed by the City Council Monday, designed to help local companies during the pandemic and encourage them to retain employees.
Applicants with a business account at VyStar Credit Union can apply online for loans of up to $100,000, and be eligible for city-subsidized interest payments if they keep their employees on staff during the pandemic. Curry said loan approval and funding can take place within three to five days. Principal and interest payments are suspended for a year.
“It was like someone just slammed the breaks on the economy,” Curry said. He noted 17 City Councilmembers co-introduced the legislation with him.
Curry also appealed to the old and young at a Monday press conference, acknowledging the stress the coronavirus pandemic has wrought on their lives.
He announced a partnership with Memorial Hospital to create an avenue for seniors to connect with someone over the phone “to make sure they are eating and that they have someone to talk to.” By calling the hotline at 702-2552, he said, “seniors can discuss their situations with mental health professionals.”
Curry also directly addressed children. “I know these are uncertain times. Some of you may be scared. You miss your friends, you miss your routines, you miss your activities, some of you miss going to school. I recognize that and I want to thank you for playing your part by being home. You are heroes. You are germ busters,” he said. “If you feel the need to cry that’s OK, that’s normal.”
Curry said his own daughter Bridget had sewn him a face mask on Sunday, and that he will wear it going forward when he goes to the grocery store or picks up to-go food.
Sheriff Mike Williams and JFRD Chief Keith Powers updated the number of first responders impacted by COVID-19. Both said less than 1 percent of their staff was either ill or self quarantining due to a suspected exposure. For JSO, that number included eight officers on patrol or enforcement and five correctional officers. For JFRD that included 14 members.
The Sheriff also said the jail had five inmates in isolation but no positive cases as yet. He said the agency has responded to 300 complaints about violations of social distancing rules and issued 40 citations.
The details of the loan program are below:
VyStar Loan Information
The relief loan is structured to provide small businesses with flexible funds they need, when they need them.
- No minimum loan amount; maximum loan amount of $100,000.
- Fixed interest rate of 5.99%.
- $250 underwriting fee waived for small businesses for each loan (credited by VyStar for loans under $5,000 and paid for by City of Jacksonville for loans above $5,000).
- Quick loan approval and funding (3-5 days)
FLEXIBLE REPAYMENT OPTIONS
- Six (6) month draw period allows businesses to use only what they need as they need it – they do not need to advance (or pay interest on) the entire amount approved at once; rather, they may advance and repay funds over the six (6) month draw period to cover expenses as they arise.
- Interest-only payments for the first year ensure repayment costs remain low as the small business works through the pandemic response and rebuilding periods. Principal and interest (P&I) payments begin in year 2 at an amount sufficient to repay the loan in 60 months.
SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION
- Business must have at least one (1) year in operations (three (3) year requirement waived) and provide most recent year’s filed tax returns for business and all owners.
- Business must have between 2 and 100 employees in addition to business owners.
- While personal guarantee is required from all business owners, minimum personal credit score of 720 is waived for this program.
- Must not be a business type excluded by the State of Florida’s Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program or by VyStar’s standard lending criteria
- Nonprofits are eligible to participate
City of Jacksonville Enhancements
- City will grant $1,000 to each business awarded a loan for a maximum city indebtedness of $3 million (these grants will be provided to up to the first 3,000 loan recipients)
- City will provide a grant to pay interest costs in Year 1 for all businesses
- City will provide a grant to pay interest costs in Years 2-6 if the business maintains employment of at least 50% of its pre- COVID-19 workforce (using Feb. 29 as base employment date)
- City will provide a grant to pay 10% of the outstanding loan balance each year if the business employs at least 100% of its pre- COVID-19 workforce
- To receive the grant payments, each business must submit sufficient documentation of employment on a form prescribed by the City
- City will cover VyStar’s $250 underwriting fee per loan on all loans $5,000 or greater to underwrite and administer the loans
STEPS TO APPLY
1. Visit VyStarCU.org/Coronavirus for important, general information
- Print and fill out the loan application from this link:
- Email the following documents to JaxReliefLoan@vystarcu.org
- Completed application
- Most recent 1-year business tax returns (If you have not filed 2019 returns please provide 2018 TR along with 2019 year end profit and loss statement with your balance sheet)
- Most recent 1-year personal tax returns for all owners