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Applications for Decatur’s small business loan program open on May 5

Business Decatur

Applications for Decatur’s small business loan program open on May 5

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On April 21, Dryden Joss (l) and Jason Waller at the drive through Waller set up at his coffee shop on DeKalb Industrial Way. “Someone paid for the coffee on Fridays’ so it’s free to everyone and always free to health care workers,” Waller said. 60% of Waller’s business was live shows, “We do miss the music, “he said, adding he’s putting some shows online. On the upside Waller said he has been able to spend more time with his family. “I won’t open until I feel comfortable,” he said. Photo by Dean Hesse.



Decatur, GA – A small business loan program established by the city of Decatur to help companies affected by COVID-19 will begin accepting applications on May 5.

The city and its Development Authority created a $500,000 business loan fund. Businesses can receive up to $25,000 through the program. The city contributed $400,000 and the other $100,000 will come from the Decatur Development Authority. The fund also is accepting contributions.

Here is the full announcement from the Decatur Downtown Development Authority:

DECATUR, GA (May 1, 2020) – The City of Decatur, the Decatur Development Authorities (DDA), and Legacy Decatur have announced the creation of a small business loan program in response to the financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $500,000 is being made available as part of this initiative, with $400,000 coming from the City of Decatur and $100,000 pledged by the DDA.  The public will be able to contribute to the program by making a tax-deductible donation through Legacy Decatur at http://www.legacydecatur.org.

“Small businesses are truly the backbone of Decatur, and many of them have been hard hit by this unprecedented pandemic,” said Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett. “Finding a way to help them through this challenge is important to us, and we are proud to provide them with this critical resource as we demonstrate our support.”

The no-interest loans are for a period of four years with repayment beginning 12 months after the state of emergency order is lifted. The repayment plan can be for a period of up to three years following that date, and they can be repaid without a prepayment penalty. Any small business in Decatur employing between two and 30 full-time or full-time equivalent employees is eligible, so long as they were open and operational as of March 1, 2020. Depending on various factors in the application process, including the number full-time employees, eligible businesses will be considered for a loan of up to $25,000.

“This program is so important for our small businesses, especially those in their infancy who haven’t generated the revenue necessary to weather this storm,” said Chris Sciarrone, Decatur DDA Chair. “While we know this doesn’t solve all their problems, these funds could be crucial to bridging the gap until further support from the state and federal government is readily available.”

The loans are being administered by the DDA, and businesses interested in applying are encouraged to visit Decatur’s business resources webpage for more guidance. The online portal to submit an application will open at 8:00 a.m. on May 5, 2020, and the deadline to apply is 5:00 p.m. on May 15, 2020. In the event that the loan fund is over-subscribed, a lottery method will be used to select which businesses from the group of qualified applicants will receive the loan. Loan distributions are expected by the end of May.

The DDA has also created an interactive webpage detailing which local businesses are remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic and their updated operating hours, which can be accessed through DecaturGA.com.

About the City of Decatur

The City of Decatur, located just east of Atlanta and home to 22,000 people, is characterized by world class big-city business assets, progressive attitudes, highly educated people, an accessible government and superb quality of life for those who live and/or work here. The city was recently listed as the 2018 Best Neighborhood in Atlanta by Creative Loafing. Decatur already is home to Emory Health Care, Agnes Scott College, Columbia Seminary, the Task Force for Global Health and a vibrant mix of small, local professional firms.

About the Decatur Downtown Development Authority

The Decatur Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was founded in 1982 to implement the Decatur Town Center Plan and to provide day-to-day management of the downtown development program. Since that time, our role has expanded to include responsibility for all of Decatur’s commercial districts. The Downtown Development Authority works with the traditional, downtown business district and the Development Authority has jurisdiction over the neighborhood districts. Both Authorities share a board and staff and exist to provide assistance to prospective business owners and developers interested in investing in Decatur’s economic development plans. These programs are housed within the City’s Community & Economic Development Department.

About Legacy Decatur

Legacy Decatur was established in 2015 to grow programs, partnerships, and resources that create and support a positive legacy for Decatur. It exists as a distinct nonprofit aligned closely with the City of Decatur, offering a flexible means of connecting elected officials with community leaders and motivated citizens in support of legacy-oriented initiatives, particularly those involving housing attainability, community-building, and the environment. Legacy Decatur provides a nonprofit vehicle by which individuals and organizations can personally contribute, as donors or volunteers, to meeting broader community goals, and through which grants and other forms of funding can be pursued.

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