Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Mike Skelton are seeking to create the Manchester Small Business Recovery Loan Fund to help local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal will be heard during the teleconference meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Under the proposal, the loan fund will have an initial funding of $1 million. It will be available strictly to small businesses in Manchester that experienced closure or loss of revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak. Eligible uses of the loan include payroll, workforce recruitment, working capital and inventory. The maximum loan amount will be $25,000 with an interest rate of 2%. The Capital Regional Development Corporation will handle loan underwriting on behalf of Manchester Development Corporation.

Craig hopes that the low-interest loan fund will motivate small firms in Manchester to resume normal operations since most of them have temporarily closed because of the coronavirus crisis. Skelton added that immediate action is needed so that the progress made by the city and its small business community over the past decade will not be lost.

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