Regional SBA program to help small businesses through COVID recovery

Posted at 1:37 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 15:37:39-04

MISSOULA — A community-based lender serving the Northern Rockies said Tuesday it will offer deferred loans and free consulting to help local businesses transition to an online presence, or simply retool to meet the new economic environment.

MoFi, based in Missoula with operations across the Northern Rockies, said the Community Advantage Recovery Loan Program (CARL), offers free consulting and loans for approved borrowers.

The first six months of payments will be forgiven, according to MoFi President Dave Glaser.

“The Paycheck Protection Program allowed many businesses across the region to keep their employees on payroll through spring and early summer,” said Glaser. “Now, this program can help them pivot to the future.”

The Paycheck Protection Program expired earlier this month and Congress has yet to produce a new relief package. But the new CARL program, offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, can help qualifying businesses navigate the challenges of the pandemic.

Glaser said the program increases access to guaranteed loans in underserved areas of the country. Loans of up to $250,000 are available and funds may be received in 10 business days or less.

With the first six months of payments forgiven, business owners receiving funds in August wouldn’t have loan payments until March, according to Glaser. The program is only available for a limited time, and loans must be approved by Sept. 27, 2020.

“As small businesses across the Northern Rockies and Inland Northwest continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, this new SBA program is a great option to help with their financial recovery,” Glaser said.

Businesses can access the program through MoFi, a community-based lender that specializes in helping those not served by traditional financial institutions.

Glaser said technical assistance is free and can be used to help businesses retool their business model for the COVID-19 environment, or shift to an online presence.

Assistance can also help businesses build cash reserves or strategize to reduce expenses.

To access the program through MoFi, Glaser said businesses must be located in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Eastern Washington or Eastern Oregon.

For more information about the CARL Program, or to apply for a loan, contact MoFi at 844-728-9234 or follow this link.

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