A $ 10 million emergency fund set up to help small businesses struggling with the coronavirus pandemic stopped receiving requests three days after its launch.
The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, a quasi-public agency that works with banks and lenders, announced on its website Thursday afternoon that it would no longer accept applications “due to the availability” of loan funds. in the event of an economic disaster.
“We are no longer accepting applications for the MGCC’s Small Business Recovery Loan Fund as of March 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm,” the website says.
The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, which works with the agency, declined to comment on why the state’s loan applications were no longer being accepted.
Instead, the office said the administration was working on a loan fund while securing a disaster declaration from the US Small Business Administration so businesses in Massachusetts could apply for federal loans.
Following Governor Baker’s request for a disaster declaration to the SBA, the SBA made assistance available through the Economic Disaster Lending Program, which went live on Wednesday evening.
Governor Charlie Baker announced Monday that the MGCC would administer up to $ 75,000 in capital to a small business or qualifying non-profit organization. Applicants must have less than 50 full-time and part-time employees to qualify.
“There is no doubt that everyone is feeling the impact of the coronavirus at this point,” the Republican governor said at the time. “It is certainly extremely disruptive in our daily life. “
The CRJM and state officials have turned to promoting federal disaster loans now available through the Small Business Administration.
Massachusetts businesses can apply for disaster relief loans until December 18. The SBA approved Baker’s Disaster Loan Assistance Application Wednesday on the grounds that the state suffered economic damage.
With the SBA relief, businesses without credit available elsewhere will be eligible for disaster loans of up to $ 2 million. Disaster loans would have an interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits with a repayment period of up to 30 years.
A preliminary investigation by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency on Monday suggested that at least 700 businesses across the state have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions issued during the declaration of a state of emergency.
Private sector companies have been hit hard by the coronavirus response, with restaurants no longer able to serve food and drink except for take-out in hotels, gymnasiums, shopping centers and other retail stores that have temporarily closed.