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Salt Lake City Council Tentatively Approves $1 Million Small Business Coronavirus Loan Program

Photo of Salt Lake City skyline at night
Brian Albers
The Salt Lake City Council has tentatively approved a program to distribute loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday tentatively approved a 0% interest loan program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. It came on the same day as federal loans from the Small Business Administration became available. 

Salt Lake City will set aside $1 million on loans for local businesses with less than 50 employees. The maximum loan amount will be $20,000, with the goal of helping at least 50 businesses. 

“That just underscores my point of: Government's not going to solve all of this,” said Salt Lake City Economic Development Director Ben Kolendar. “But we're putting something out there as a first step to see how we can help.”

The city council is set to officially approve the program on Tuesday, with checks going out as early as the morning of Wednesday, March 25. But since they have tentatively approved it, Kolendar said his staff can start reviewing applications before next week. 

“Those who demonstrate that need in the appropriate way and are considerate with what they're asking for... will be weighed more heavily than other applications that arbitrarily ask for the full amount and don't necessarily demonstrate that financial impact,” Kolendar said.

Kolendar added that the city has also been talking with local residents and larger businesses, who may be supplying grants themselves in the coming days. 

As for federal loans, small businesses across Utah impacted by coronavirus now have access to them through the SBA after the agency approved a request sent by Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday. Those loans can be up to $2 million and come with a 3.75% interest rate.

Sonja Hutson covers politics for KUER. Follow her on Twitter @SonjaHutson

Sonja Hutson is a politics and government reporter at KUER.
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