RICHMOND, Va. -- The City of Richmond has announced a no-interest disaster loan program for small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Richmond Economic Development Authority created the Richmond Small Business Disaster Loan Program, which will offer interest-free emergency loans of up to $20,000 to small businesses within city limits.
The mayor’s office says the program is intended to provide relief for small businesses and empowers them to continue operating, while keeping employees on their payroll.
“Small businesses have made Richmond the thriving culture capital we love,” said Mayor Stoney. “They’ve been understanding, patient and selfless in adapting to the recent social distancing guidance, no matter the economic consequences for them. This loan program is one way we can help provide some relief and support in this tough time.”
Additionally, the loan provide funds to go toward paying employee wages.
City officials say the maximum loan amount for the program is six months of current employee wages or $20,000, whichever is less. The loan payments will be disbursed over six months.
Repayment of the loans will be deferred for six months, followed by 48 months of no-interest payments.
Applications for the loan will be available starting Monday, April 6.
City officials say funding is limited and applications will be considered in the order they are submitted.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.