The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) has issued its first snowstorm loan, part of an initiative to help small business owners bounce back after record snowfall this winter. Up to $1 million has been set aside in a fund that is available to qualifying businesses throughout the state.
“As small businesses throughout Massachusetts continue to recover from extreme winter weather conditions that have restricted business, we are pleased to announce this low-interest loan program is available to help them regain their financial stability,” said Governor Baker in a statement late February. “While our local economies continue to bounce back, we encourage everyone to continue shopping at their local retailers, restaurants and small businesses.”
The $5,000 to $10,000 micro-loans are available at low interest rates and are intended to help businesses in heavily impacted communities to recover. In the wake of lost revenue from this particularly harsh winter, the funds could make the difference for many locals.
“It’s been a tough winter and these micro-loans can make the difference to meeting a payroll, or paying the rent. We’re here to help and hope other businesses that need a hand will take advantage of this great opportunity,” MGCC President Larry Andrews said.
Massachusetts saw record snowfall this year of 108.1 inches, compared to the highest recorded levels of 107.6 inches in 1996. Closures and road bans brought down revenue for many business owners this season.
“Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy and it is important that we help ensure their longevity by lending a helping hand when they need it most,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito in a statement. “We are confident that our entire economy will continue to recover from one of the toughest winters we have seen in decades.”
MGCC issued the first micro-loan, set at $10,000, to Dorchester caterer Down Home Delivery & Catering last Tuesday. MGCC will be responsible for funding the loans, collection of interest and principal payments, managing the loan portfolio, and loan approvals. It is expected that businesses in heavily impacted areas, particularly those in Boston and gateway cities such as Worcester and Leominster, will receive priority. The program will continue through May 2015.