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Posted on: June 16, 2020

Nearly $1M in CARES Act money to fund affordable housing, homeless services, forgivable biz loans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

At its June 15 meeting, City Council passed a bill allocating $916,138 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) COVID-19 funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist Springfield citizens with affordable housing assistance, services for the homeless and forgivable economic recovery business loans.

The breakdown of funds is:

  • $383,000 for affordable housing assistance, which includes rent assistance, resulting from $183,000 in CDBG COVID-19 funds and $200,000 in HOME Grant funds that the City already had;
  • $330,038 for services for the homeless, public services and homeless prevention;
  • $403,100 for forgivable economic recovery business loans.

The City’s Department of Planning & Development will disburse the affordable housing and homeless services funds through amended contracts with supporting public service agencies such as OACAC, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, The Salvation Army, Community Partnership of the Ozarks and others as soon as possible.

“We understand there are folks who needed this money in the form of rent assistance or affordable housing months ago,” says Director of Planning & Development Mary Lilly Smith. “It’s our intention to get these funds out the door as soon as possible.”

Forgivable business loans

Businesses can apply for the forgivable business loans through the Economic Development Office by calling Cheri Hagler at 417-864-1053 or by downloading the application packet, completing it and emailing it to Hagler at chagler@springfieldmo.gov or by mailing it or bringing it to 840 N. Boonville 65803, Attention: Cheri Hagler between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. As the Busch Municipal Building is still closed to the public, please call the front desk at 417-864-1000 shortly before or upon arrival to make arrangements for drop-off.

The loans are up to $10,000 and businesses must retain a certain number of employees based on their pre-COVID-19 employment level in order to qualify. Applicants who submit complete applications can expect a two-week turnaround.

Businesses eligible for the loans must:

  • Have a physical location within the city limits of Springfield;
  • Be a for-profit business;
  • Have been in operation at least one year;
  • Have a valid Social Security number or Employer Identification Number;
  • Not be in bankruptcy;
  • Be able to provide current insurance information;
  • Be current with business property taxes and City fees;
  • Be current on terms of any existing City of Springfield loan;
  • Not have a conflict of interest with the City (i.e., employee of the City or member of City Council may not have a direct or indirect personal or financial interest in the business).

In addition, the business owner/program applicant must be a 51%-plus majority owner of the business.

The loans are based on one year of deferred payments at a 0% interest rate, up to $10,000. The loans will be fully forgiven if:

  • Business remains open for one year from loan approval;
  • Business retains and documents the required number of low/moderate income (earning 80% or less of annual median income). For a family of four, a person qualifies as low/moderate if their household income is $50,300 or less) full-time employee(s) or full-time equivalent employee(s);
  • If the business has no employees, the owner must be able to document that they are low/moderate owner.

If the business/owner fails to retain or document their jobs or remain open for one year, the loan must be repaid within 24 months of the initial one-year deferred period, at 2.5% interest, which begins accruing after the one-year deferred period.

Funds may be used for operating expenses for day-to-day operations including but not limited to payroll, rent/mortgage costs, utilities, inventory, food supplies and insurance.

“Local business owners have been so innovative trying to stay afloat during the shutdown period caused by COVID-19, but for many businesses, there is no way to replace the income that was lost during that time,” said Economic Development Director Sarah Kerner. “By offering these forgivable loans, we hope to shore up Springfield’s small businesses and maintain as many jobs as possible for years to come.”

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For more information, please contact Director of Planning & Development Mary Lilly Smith at 417-864-1094 or Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-380-3352 or cscott@springfieldmo.gov

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