SACO, Maine — Saco Mayor William Doyle announced the City's new COVID-19 Emergency Loan Fund at a council meeting.
The City’s Planning & Economic Development Department fund will offer loans of up to $10,000 for Saco businesses and non-profits with 500 employees or less. To help support businesses as quickly as possible, the review and application process has been streamlined, all payments will be deferred for six months, and 50 percent of the loan may be forgiven after five years.
"We're looking at eateries, light manufacturing, photography, even non-profits," said Denise Clavette, the director of Planning and Economic Development for the city of Saco.
"We anticipate being able to turn around a loan in less than two weeks."
Funds for this program will come from the City of Saco’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District revenues, and the program will be administered by the Southern Maine Finance Agency.
As of Wednesday morning, the city had received 16 applications.
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Other Maine communities are offering similar programs.
Auburn, for example, launched an emergency small business loan program four weeks ago, according to Michael Chammings the Auburn Director of Economic and Community Development. He said with $37,500 it has helped retain 118 local jobs so far from more than a dozen businesses.