The Burlington County Board of Commissioners reminds local small business owners and nonprofits that zero-interest loans are still available to help them recover from the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has had widespread and devastating impacts unlike anything most of us have ever experienced,” said Deputy Director of Commissioner Dan O’Connell in a prepared statement. “We have made great strides since last year, but we know that many small businesses and non-profit organizations are still struggling with the effects of the virus. We continue to provide zero interest loans to help these employers recover and grow again. ”
Burlington County offers interest-free loans through its Health Emergency Loan Program (HELP). The program was created in 2020 in response to the pandemic and the economic impact of the crisis, and is offering loans of up to $ 50,000 to eligible small businesses that have struggled with the pandemic, according to the statement.
The loans are funded with US $ 660,000 under the federal CARES Act provided by the Economic Development Bureau of the Burlington County Economic Development Commission.
The Bridge Commission is also responsible for managing the program.
Loans can be used for business-related purchases, payroll or other expenses or improvements. There are no closing costs, but it is stated that sufficient collateral in personal or commercial property is required to secure the loan.
To date, five Burlington County businesses have received loans through the program, and additional funds remain available.
On June 29, O’Connell delivered a check for $ 45,000 to Wayne Troyanovski, owner of the Hinesport-based South Jersey Lawns, the last county-assisted business.
The company has been in Burlington County for 16 years, and Troyanovski has been in Burlington County for 39 years.
“In 2020, like many other small businesses, I took a hit and ended up in a hole from which it seemed I could not get out. I thought about the future and sustainability of my business, ”Troyanovski said in a statement. “With larger companies taking federal funds, smaller businesses like mine were left with a mailbox filled with ‘Sorry, you don’t fit’ emails. I was faced with the need to take out high interest rate credit card loans, which may have helped me now, but would ultimately ruin me as the interest on the debt would have become exorbitant. “
According to the statement, he learned about the HELP loan program from a friend, and Liz Verna, the county director of economic development, went through the application process.
“As a business owner facing the toughest year of my life, as a husband and father with a family’s future on my shoulders, I cannot express how grateful I am to (Verne) and everyone who helped bring this program to life in Burlington County. … “, – said in the statement of Troyanovsky. “This HELP loan will secure my business for years to come. For my part, I am proud to be a resident and business owner in Burlington County and hope to be there for many more years. ”
On June 29, Troyanovsky said that business is booming and that the HELP loan will provide him with working capital to purchase supplies and materials to continue the work, the statement said.
He also called on more companies to familiarize themselves with the program, according to the statement.
Additional information about the program and an online application are available at www.bcbridges.org/covid19-resources/
In addition to HELP loans, Burlington County also offers zero interest loans to businesses along the Route 130 corridor and low interest loans to other businesses throughout the county.
The county also just wrapped up its second Restaurant Week advertising campaign, featuring a record 45 restaurants and eateries.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy of our county and our communities, so we must do everything we can to help them recover from a difficult 2020,” O’Connell said in a statement. “HELP loans are one way our district can help them, and we are grateful to Liz Verna and the Bridge Commission for their work in securing funding and administering this program. Restaurant Week and our Burlington County Store First initiative are another way we’re trying to help. In times like these, it is especially important for all of us to unite and support this business. “