Loans earmarked for businesses dealing with pandemic impact

Kennebunk businesses facing challenges due to coronavirus may be eligible for a loan through the Kennebunk Development Corporation. Businesses have until June 30 to apply for up to $5,000. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNK – Businesses facing challenges due to impacts associated with coronavirus may be eligible for a loan of up to $5,000 through the Kennebunk Development Corporation.

The Kennebunk Development Corporation has created a COVID-19 Emergency Loan Fund. Loans may be offered to eligible businesses at a low interest rate, with payments deferred for the first two years, said corporation President Robert Georgitis. He said  terms of the loan are five years, with half of the loan amount forgiven if certain criteria are met.

“We wanted to create a program to help Kennebunk businesses with 10 or less full-time employees meet the challenges of COVID-19,” said Georgitis. “Most are facing extra expenses, having to retrofit businesses with plexiglass, buy personal protection equipment, do minor construction to create outdoor spaces and more – all while trying to keep payroll covered. It’s our hope that this loan will help some of our vulnerable businesses survive and thrive.”

Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel Chamber of Commerce director Laura Dolce said the loans could be used for a number of applications.

“A gift shop could use it to have plexiglass installed at the check-out counter, a restaurant could use it for outdoor seating and a tent,” she said, citing some examples.

The loan program will be administered by the Southern Maine Finance Agency, which will be the only authority to know a business’ name and personal information, said Georgitis. All information will be kept confidential.

Interested business owners must file an application by 4 p.m. on June 30. Southern Maine Finance Agency will process loan requests by July 8. For application materials, visit https://bit.ly/2z6tO9M. Completed application, financial statement and all required materials should be emailed to [email protected].

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