By Jacob Mulliken Messenger-Inquirer Aug 29, 2020

The Green River Area Development District has received $3.6 million in CARES Act funding to aid businesses.

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 in Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties.

GRADD’s funding is part of $11.6 million announced by the department on Thursday 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.

Before the application for the loans can be made public, GRADD must first get approval for its RLF plan from both the Economic Development Corporation on Sept. 2 and GRADD’s executive committee on Sept. 9.

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 or eliminated borrower equity and collateral requirements.

While the potential for each body to make “tweaks” to the plan is there, the drafters believe that both the ECD and committee will sign off, said Joanna Shake, GRADD’s executive director.

“This funding is important and we are extremely excited to get a plan in place and are confident in our plan,” she said. “While we have our traditional lending, this will be specific to COVID-19. We are lessening requirements and making deferments and waivers so we can help as many small businesses stay afloat as possible.”

Shake and her team are in the process of developing a marketing plan and are seeking interested parties in aiding in application review when the time comes, she said.

“We have a team of three that will overlook our GRADD counties,” she said. “We are really focusing on aiding small minority businesses that have been hard hit during the pandemic. We are also looking for a qualified individual from the community that would interested in helping us with loan reviews to streamline the process. We are hoping after approval to have the applications up on the GRADD website on Sept. 9.”

If interested in aiding GRADD in reviewing loan applications or if you have questions regarding loans, contact GRADD at 270-926-4433.