City of Altoona Recommends Creation of Recovery Loan/Grant Program – Partnership with ABCD Corporation

 In News

On June 1, 2020 the City of Altoona approved the recommended allocations for the $966,000 City of Altoona CARES Act/COVID-19 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Relief Act funds. As part of the approved recommendations is the creation of the City of Altoona Economic Recovery Program to be managed by the Altoona Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation in cooperation with the City of Altoona.

The City of Altoona Economic Recovery Program would provide financial incentives to Altoona small businesses (less than 50 employees) to expedite the hiring of employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through one-time grants as well as working capital loans.

The one-time grants would be a maximum of $10,000 for any one business and calculated as up to $1,500 per employee being recalled or hired. Of the employees being recalled or hired 51% would have to meet the Low to Moderate income guidelines of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Funds can be used to cover the salary/fringe and other working capital needs of the small business.

In addition to the grants, working capital loans would be made to small businesses in the range of $10,000-$20,000 based upon the creation or retention of jobs by qualified small businesses currently operating in the City of Altoona. For each $10,000-$20,000 loaned, the small business would be required to create or retain one new full-time job or part-time equivalent. The new job created or retained would have to be filled by persons whose family income does not exceed the low to moderate income limits. Interest rates on the loans would be fixed at 1% with term not to exceed 3 years.

Both the grant and loan funds will be managed by ABCD and its finance team will be responsible for all grant and loan underwriting including establishing proper and adequate collateral for each loan. In addition, ABCD staff would also be responsible for all loan servicing and follow-up.  ABCD will receive all applications, review, and make decisions within 5-7 business days. Final guidelines for the application and approval process will be release by July 1, 2020.

It is the intent of the program to assist small businesses located in the City of Altoona in recovering from the impacts of the pandemic’s shutdown by incentivizing the rehiring of staff.

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