A new local small business emergency loan program has been created for Transylvania County businesses and is now accepting applications.

The Transylvania Emergency Bridge Loan Program (TEBLP) is designed to be a flexible source of short-term capital to help local businesses meet pressing COVID-19 financial obligations, as they continue to navigate state-mandated closure requirements and ‘stay home’ orders.

Funded through an initial $150,000 contribution from Transylvania County, TEBLP provides loans up to $10,000 for a total term of 42 months with the intention of helping businesses transition to more permanent funding sources.

“This is deeply needed by the Transylvania small business community,” said Mike Hawkins, chairman of the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners. “Small business is the backbone of Transylvania’s economy, and many of these businesses are facing capital challenges unlike anything they’ve ever seen. This program can be a part of a longer-term solution for these folks.”

The program is designed to be evergreen, according to Hawkins.

“It’s targeted to businesses which have not yet been able to access capital through traditional banks or federal or state emergency initiatives,” he said. “As businesses access more permanent loan support these funds will be repaid and be lent back out.”

The Transylvania Economic Alliance is partnering with Asheville-based Mountain BizWorks to develop and operate the new tool.

“We are pleased to partner with the Transylvania County community” said Matt Raker, Executive Director of Mountain BizWorks. “This type initiative is a natural extension of our core mission and expertise. As a longtime regional, business lending partner, many of our existing and/or former clients are in Transylvania County. We are excited to be able to offer this new tool to assist Transylvania County small business through this difficult situation.”

According to Alliance Chairman Mark Tooley, “Our organization recognizes the unprecedented demands being placed on our local business community. There are few examples of a time in which we have to compare. Public health and the economic health of our community are critical. As we look to the future we are encouraged by the collaborative and creative spirit which accompanies the creation of tools like this. We very much want to see our community reopen and hope that during this phased reopening plan this program can be used to assist businesses in re-establishing their previous operations.”

The Transylvania Economic Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization that works to lead responsible economic development through engaging the private and public sectors to develop community assets that are needed to maximize opportunities for investment and quality job creation.

For more information about the Alliance please visit www.transylvaniaalliance.com or contact Executive Director, Josh Hallingse at 828-393-4130.

To learn more about Mountain BizWorks please visit www.mountainbizworks.org.

Program Highlights
Loans to be made available for up to $10,000 and minimum amount of $2,500 and based on the business’s revenue history. Loan agreements are structured as follows:
• Six months of no payments required at 4% (interest accruing), followed by 36 months of principal and interest payments at 5.5% interest (market-based).
• There are no prepayment penalties.
• Defaulted loans are subject to collections.

Who is eligible?
• For-profit and nonprofit businesses
• Have a physical location and be principally based in Transylvania County.
• Have between 1 (who could be the self-employed owner) and 49 employees.
• Have been in business for at least 12 months.
• Demonstrated loss of revenue of 25% or more due to COVID-19.

• Any individual with greater than 20% ownership in the applying business must personally guarantee the loan.
• Proceeds from the loan may only be used for maintaining or restarting a business. Eligible uses include payroll, accounts payable, fixed debts, or other bills the business is unable to pay because of the COVID-19 crisis.
• Participating businesses must agree to provide impact data.
• Borrowers are required to assign the proceeds of future assistance programs, including SBA loans, to the repayment of their Transylvania County Bridge Loan.

How to apply
• Interested businesses should apply using the Mountain BizWorks website: https://www.mountainbizworks.org/transylvania-fund/
• Businesses interested in applying should be prepared to complete an online application and provide tax returns, profit and loss statements, and bank statements.
• Loans are subject to the availability of funds.

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