The Board of Orange County Commissioners approved a loan and grant program on Tuesday that would allocate county funds to local businesses struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will award up to $5,000 in grants or up to $20,000 in loans to eligible small businesses across the county. The former will not need to be repaid, while the latter are meant to be repaid over the course of five years, with no payments being necessary over the first six months.
“This is an emergency measure that we’re taking to assist businesses with loans and grants, and my recommendation as the manager is that we consider this under the current situation that we’re in," County Manager Bonnie Hammersley said.
Funding for the program will come from sales tax revenue that was originally budgeted into the county's Small Business Loan Program, which now totals $300,000.
“The eligibility requirements are relatively straightforward,” Deputy County Manager Travis Myren said. “They must be an Orange County business, one year of operations, for-profit and (have) a profit and loss statement proving that they were profitable prior to the coronavirus epidemic, so that there’s some demonstrable effect that their business has had because of the coronavirus."