ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Last week, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced the creation of an Emergency Small Business Assistance loan program to help local businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Due to a surge in applicants, the program was temporarily shutdown Tuesday, just five days after it launched.
However, a few hours after that shutdown, the program was back up and running, according to Monroe County officials.
“Initially we were thinking we’d have a quicker turn around on these applications, but it is taking so much time because of the volume and we’re really just a team of five people that are doing all of the reviews — so we’re working around the clock and we’re working from home,” said Ana Liss, acting director of Monroe County Department of Planning and Developent.
The program was approved last week by the Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation. It offered zero interest loans of up to $10,000 in capital for qualifying businesses in retail, health care, restaurants, real estate, technology, personal/professional services, construction, manufacturers, and other small businesses with 50 or fewer full time employees.
Officials said initial funding for the program was $500,000.
With 100 applications submitted the first day and 200 more this morning-
employees with the county aren’t able to process the requests quick enough, they are hoping to expand the program.
“Do plan to go back to our board finding new avenues so we can support more and more of these small business as the came in,” said Liss.
They are also prioritizing the loans, to make sure those in the most need get help sooner.
“We’re being encouraged to look through applications and prioritize those applications from business that are at risk because their in a distress census bracket or it’s a minority or business enterprise,” said Liss.
Program instructions and applications are available now online. Applications can be submitted via email to email@example.com, and also mailed to MCIDA at 50 W. Main Street, Rochester, NY 14614.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.