The Dubuque association resumes its COVID-19 loan program
DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) – Sue Davis, owner of River Lights bookstore on East Main Street, said the need for financial assistance came quickly once the pandemic returned in March.
People stayed at home and the cash registers were silent.
“The need was immediate when all of this happened,” Davis said. “I asked for money from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Disaster Loans, but it took a long time to get it.”
This is why she applied for the Dubuque Initiatives loan program aimed at helping companies in difficulty at the time. She quickly obtained $ 10,000 in loans.
“We used it for computer equipment, we used it for supplies and from the start we needed masks in the store, so we offered them to people who came without them,” said Davis. “And additional staff, because online order processing actually takes staff more time than just waiting at the counter. “
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, Dubuque Initiatives has decided to reopen loan program applications to help more local small businesses.
Jill Connors, the city’s director of economic development, said the winter season led the nonprofit group to reopen loan applications.
“Our businesses got this far, but part of it was the ability to have outdoor activities, alfresco dining, that sort of thing, and they saw that it wouldn’t be possible during the winter. “said Connors.
Connors said Dubuque Initiatives had allocated $ 500,000 to the program, which would allow them to help about 50 other businesses. This time, however, they are also allowing nonprofit groups to apply, not just businesses.
“Including nonprofits right now is really helping, for example, our arts organizations,” Connors said. “They took a hit because they can’t have their halls full of audiences so that’s a way to keep them afloat as well.”
The main guideline is the location. The business or non-profit organization must be located within the city limits of Dubuque. The organization must also employ between two and 50 people.
Those interested should call the COVID-19 Business Helpline at (563) 588-3350 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or send an email to [email protected]
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