Reopening Macon Fund

Reopening Macon Fund small business loans aim to provide a rapid source of assistance for Macon County-based businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. This fund is a collaborative effort between the Macon County Economic Development Commission, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Highlands Chamber of Commerce, SCC Small Business Center, WCU Small Business and Technology Development Center and Mountain BizWorks. Mountain BizWorks is the administrator of the emergency loans program, with details below.

This is not a grant program

Reopening Macon Fund small business loans are designed to be flexible and rapid sources of low-interest loan capital to help local Macon County businesses meet pressing needs and navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Repayment is expected either from more permanent funding sources (like SBA Disaster Loans) or from the future cash flow of the business.

Loan details

Loans are available for up to $10,000, based on the business’s pre-COVID-19 revenue. Loan agreements are structured as follows:

  • Six months of no payments required at 4% (interest accruing), followed by 36 months of principal and interest payments at 5.5% interest.
  • There are no prepayment penalties.
  • Defaulted loans are subject to collections.

Who is eligible?

  • For-profit businesses
  • Have a physical location and be principally based in Macon County (see our COVID loans page for options for those not in the county)
  • Have between 1 (who could be the self­-employed owner) and 50 employees
  • Have been in business for at least 12 months
  • Demonstrated loss of revenue of 25% or more due to COVID-19

Requirements

  • Any individual with greater than 20% ownership in the applying business must personally guarantee the loan.
  • Proceeds from the loan may only be used for maintaining or restarting a business. Eligible uses include payroll, accounts payable, fixed debts, or other bills the business is unable to pay due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Agree to provide impact data
  • Borrowers are required to assign the proceeds of future SBA EIDL loans or other federal assistance programs to the repayment of their Reopening Macon Loan. (PPP funds and the EIDL grants are excluded from this)

Logistics & timeline

  • The Reopening Macon Fund was launched and applications opened on Friday, June 12.
  • Applications will be accepted as long as funds are available.
  • Businesses interested in applying should be prepared to complete an online application (linked below) and provide tax returns, profit and loss statements, and bank statements.
  • The partners in this program are committed to moving as fast as possible to assist businesses. We are aiming to fund requests on a weekly basis as long as funds are available.
  • Loans are subject to the availability of funds. The partners know that the need is greater than the current fund size. We’re working to expand the available pool so that we can assist as many in our community as possible.

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