LOUISVILLE, KY — The Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO) Board approved just over $1 million in loans for businesses impacted by COVID-19, as well as five traditional METCO loans, in September and October.
“Our Small Business Team continues their important, everyday work while also helping small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through new loan and grant programs,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “We urge residents to continue to support all of our small businesses through the curbside pickup, outdoor dining, and in other ways as we head in the winter months.”
Louisville Forward launched the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Loan program in mid-September, providing small businesses affected by the pandemic with low-interest 66-month loans of up to $50,000. Since then, the METCO Board has awarded loans to 22 small businesses from the $2.8 million revolving loan fund.
To qualify for a loan, a business must be located in Jefferson County, be in good standing with Louisville Metro Revenue Commission and Kentucky Secretary of State, demonstrate a negative impact due to COVID-19, and show no more than $2.5 million annual revenue in the previous year.
During its regular September and October meetings, the METCO Board also approved five loans for the following businesses:
- One loan was approved for Chicago’s Jerk Tacos for start-up costs and working capital, including building improvements. The eatery, which started in 2019 as a pop-up food vendor, is opening a brick-and-mortar space at 207 Southwestern Parkway.
- $50,000 business accelerator loan
- Three loans were approved Cedar Lounge and Restaurant for renovations to the 50-year-old bar and restaurant, located at 416 S. 26th St. Work on the property will include new entry doors, repairs to the brick façade, a new sign, the purchase of equipment and furniture, and a remodel of the bathrooms to make them ADA compliant.
- $51,100 façade loan
- $15,000 accessibility loan
- $81,900 gap loan
- One loan was approved for trucking company Metro Transportation. Owner Modou Jobe established the business in May and hopes to grow it into a successful full-time operation. He will use the funds to purchase a trailer and pay for insurance, professional fees, licenses, and permits.
- $40,000 midi loan
METCO administers Louisville Metro Government’s small business loan programs, which include facade, accessibility, and gap financing loans, to name a few; the loan programs are through Louisville Forward’s Department of Economic Development. Because Louisville Metro is not the primary lender, the loan program allows many public-private partnerships between government and private business ventures that further the vitality and quality of life in the Louisville community.
In addition to the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Loan and METCO programs, Louisville Forward has distributed more than $24 million in grants to 717 small businesses through the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants program. Those grants were reviewed and approved by the Small Business COVID-19 Grant Review Committee.
To learn more about the city’s small business loan programs, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/louisville-forward/local-loan-programs.
To learn more about the city’s new Small Business COVID-19 Relief Loan program, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/louisville-forward/small-business-covid-19-relief-loan-program.