Cleveland Deferring Payments on Small Business Covid Loans Until April


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Since this summer, the City of Cleveland has loaned roughly $1.6 million to local small businesses in an effort to help offset the costs of hardship and lost revenue suffered during the pandemic.

The loans of up to $10,000 each — disbursed to 161 Cleveland businesses — were meant to be applied to standard operations such as rent, utilities and capital costs.

When the loans were announced in June, the city said that payments would be deferred until Jan. 2021, providing enough lag time, it was assumed, to help businesses weather the storm.

But the storm still rages on. Cleveland's Covid communications team confirmed to Scene this week that they have now administratively extended the first loan repayment date to April, and said they may consider future extensions "based on the progress of the pandemic."

In addition to the small business loans, the city told Scene it disbursed a total of $283,900 in 39 grants to businesses in the aftermath of the civil unrest on May 30th and $380,000 in 76 "winter support grants."

In addition to the city's assistance, the County disbursed $1.68 million (168 grants of $10,000) from a Restaurant Stabilization Fund to provide aid to culinary establishments hard hit by the pandemic.

The funding was nowhere near enough. The county announced last week that it had allotted $1.7 million for the grants and received 840 applications for aid. That means that it was able to hand out grants to only 20% of the restaurants that applied.

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