ELM CREEK, Neb. – The Village of Elm Creek Community Development Agency will be accepting applications for a new economic relief and incentive program in response to the recent impact of COVID-19 restrictions on local businesses beginning April 3, 2020. A total of $25,000 is available for the Business Retention and Improvement Loan Program. Applicants may apply in two categories: Retention or Improvement.
Village Chairman Tanner Tool stated, “Small businesses have already been significantly impacted by the recommendations for social distancing and non-essential closures. We want everyone to stay safe and healthy, but we also want to ensure our local businesses will be here to serve our community long after this crisis has passed.”
Business Retention Loans are designed to help area businesses affected by difficult economic situations, such as the recent restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elm Creek businesses may apply for loan funds to meet operating expenses such as payroll, utility billing, or lease payments. These loans will have an annual interest rate of 1% and a term of five years. The CDA may forgive these loans at any time during the loan period, waiving repayment of outstanding principal and interest.
Tool added, “These businesses have been providing service to our community, in some cases for decades. It’s our turn to serve them.”
The goal of the Business Improvement Loan program is to encourage economic development and existing business growth through investment in commercial buildings. Improvement applicants are required to provide 25% of total project costs as a cash match. Projects may include, but are not limited to: new signage, energy efficient windows, widening doors and constructing ADA ramps, upgrading public restroom facilities to meet code requirements, installation of fire suppression system such as sprinklers, tuck pointing brickwork, and painting, including murals with design approval.
Application Packets can be picked up at the Village Hall 535 Boyd Avenue, Elm Creek, by appointment during Directed Health Measures or emailed by request. Completed applications may be submitted on or after April 3, 2020.