CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — We reached out to several agencies offering loans specifically for small businesses affected by the pandemic. It turns out there are several offering a variety of opportunities to apply for assistance, but as with the owner of Talbert's Tavern, not everyone will qualify. However, being turned down doesn't mean the business owner should give up.
Market Manager Laura Leal Estrada of Liftfund said there are caveats to wade through when applying for the myriad of pandemic related loans.
"There are a lot of different things we're looking at when trying to see how the business owner can have access to capital," Estrada said.
Not every business owner who applies for a loan will get approved for one. As with every loan, there are certain requirements.
"The client would have been current prior to March 1," Estrada said. The other expectation is that they are gonna show that they were profitable prior to this happening possibly in December, January cause they are providing us fact locations, bank statements, very limited information like bank statements to show what their revenue stream looked like."
Another factor is your credit score. Estrada said it doesn't have to be perfect like 700 or 800, but they do have to show stability.
Mayor Joe McComb said the Liftfund has found its stride with close to 200 applications, 80 of which have been approved and more are expected to join. With an additional $1.7M added to the fund, business owners are encouraged to take advantage of it.
"It isn't a giveaway program," McComb said. "You've got to apply and you've got to qualify. I mean there's some people who get approved and unfortunately there's some people who don't get approved for whatever reason. The way this Liftfund works is, the city initially puts up two million dollars, there's an administrative fee that's taken out by the Liftfund, they make the loans out, and then when those loans are repaid then that money stays in there so that somebody else that wants to make a loan has some money to borrow."
If you happen to have been denied for a small business loan because the process can be overwhelming, there is help available.
Loan experts tell us small businesses owners can feel overwhelmed by all of this. There is help out there by way of the Small Business Development at Del Mar College. While their offices are closed, they are available by phone at (361) 698-1021.
The staff normally focuses on folks wanting to start a business or grow an existing one, but in today's world, they are now helping business owners with their loan applications. They have many resources that can help simplify the experience.
"We'll get them assigned to an advisor and they can start working with them figuring out first of all what funds are appropriate for them to be applying for because not all the pot of money has the intended use," Anna Fierova with Del Mar said. "Sometimes there's a mismatch there between what they're trying to borrow and what they're intending to use the money for. The advisors can definitely figure out which of the pots of money make the most sense for them to apply for."
To get started, all you have to do is visit this website here.
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
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