By Jacob Mulliken Messenger-InquirerSep 11, 2020 

The Green River Area Development District is calling on minority owned businesses in the GRADD region to apply for CARES Act business loans.

The guidelines and application for the $3.6 million in revolving loan funds went live Thursday on the GRADD website.

Currently, GRADD is reaching out to the various governmental agencies and business leaders in its seven county region of Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties, said Joanna Shake, GRADD’s executive director.

“We have a comprehensive list of small bushiness in the GRADD region,” she said. “We are doing a deep dive as we release the application for the business loan program, and working to identify the women and minority owned businesses that have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reached out to each county’s respective fiscal courts and city councils as well as business leaders in each community. In the next week, our plan is to have an outreach plan finalized and are absolutely open to any suggestions form the community on how to best reach out to these businesses. We don’t want anyone who needs help to be overlooked or fail because we couldn’t reach them.”

The funding was awarded to GRADD through the United States Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, and will go toward supporting businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19.

GRADD’s funding is part of the $11.6 million announced by the department on Aug. 27 that will be disseminated throughout the commonwealth to address the woes of small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The money is a revolving loan fund.

Through the plan, between $5,000 to $250,000 can be applied for.

Aspects of the plan include zero interest for the first 12 months, waiving the application fee, deferrals of principal and/or interest payments for up to 12 months as well as reduced borrower equity and collateral requirements. The focus of the program is to aid businesses into flourishing, Shake said.

“Our hope is that this assistance program will potentially encourage more minority owned businesses and small business in general to come into our region seeking opportunity,” she said. “We need to engage more people in those communities and I feel, if this is a potential mechanism, then we should try our best. We are excited to offer this opportunity and hope business owners in all seven of our counties will take advantage.

For more information regarding the loan program visit https://www.gradd.com/businesses/revolving-loan-program-rlf/

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com