Mountain BizWorks, working with Dogwood Health Trust, launched a targeted effort to provide increased access to the highly anticipated Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for nonprofits and small businesses in the region.
The focus will be on rural, minority and women-led organizations.
The PPP was created to provide loans to organizations impacted by COVID-19 and are forgivable if they are used to cover payroll, mortgage, rent and utility costs over an eight-week period after the loan is issued.
The Mountain BizWorks regional application process opens for nonprofits opened April 8 and will open on Friday, April 10 for small businesses. Information and application materials can be found at mountainbizworks.org/ppp/.
Dogwood Health Trust is supporting this effort with an initial investment of $2 million paid back to the trust when the loans are funded through Mountain BizWorks.
For many banks in the region, the requirement that they advance the funds for these loans before receiving the funds from the SBA can be prohibitive.
As a U.S. Treasury certified nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI), Mountain BizWorks can facilitate the targeted distribution of these funds to diverse-led nonprofits and small businesses in the region.
“Many small businesses and nonprofits in WNC are not getting access to PPP funds at this critical time, especially rural and diverse led ones. This vital partnership with Mountain BizWorks will help advance equity and address disparities in accessing federal emergency funding,” said Antony Chiang, CEO for Dogwood Health Trust.
Small businesses and nonprofits across the region are facing unprecedented challenges and need immediate relief, added Matt Raker, executive director of Mountain BizWorks.
“PPP loans are an essential part of the needed response, and through Dogwood Health Trust’s leadership and financial commitment, we will be able to broaden access to PPP loans and bring more federal relief to Western North Carolina,” Raker said.
It should be noted that each applicant is only eligible to receive one PPP loan.
If businesses and nonprofits in the region are interested in applying through Mountain BizWorks, they are directed to withdraw their original application before applying to Mountain BizWorks.