City of Fresno announces program to help small businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno business, which has been struggling due to restrictions brought on by COVID-19, can now tap into city funds through the Save Our Small Business Act.

Businesses deemed non-essential have been closed for weeks. For many, their future is uncertain.

RELATED: Coronavirus Fresno: Updates on city's shelter-in-place order, response to COVID-19 pandemic

The City of Fresno has announced a new program offering zero-interest loans to help small businesses stay afloat.

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said, "Small businesses are the heart of our economy, and they're experiencing unprecedented disruption due to COVID-19. These loans are critical."

City leaders gathered downtown to announce the loan program. It is a partnership between the city of Fresno, Access Plus Capital and the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission.

If the businesses are still open in a year, the loans won't have to be paid back.

Fresno EOC CEO Emilia Reyes explained, "Eligible small businesses between five or fewer employees may apply for $5,000 loans. Eligible businesses between six and 25 may apply for the $10,000 loan."

The $750,000 available will be spread out among businesses in all seven council districts.

RELATED: Bitwise praised by Gov. Newsom for creating website for Californians who lose job during COVID-19

You can find information on how to apply on their website. The application period ends on April 12.

Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria said, "I know the sum amount is not huge, but it is going to help a number of our small business folks."

Selected businesses will be notified on April 17. The money will be distributed on April 20.

You can also call (559) 621-8371 for more information on the loan program.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to abc30.com/coronavirus/.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.