Invest Atlanta Loans Now Available for Small Businesses in the West End
Invest Atlanta gives $ 2 million in loans – up to $ 50,000 each – to small businesses, of which $ 1 million is earmarked for the West End.
ATLANTA – An exciting new financial lifeline for struggling small businesses in Atlanta’s West End is now live.
11Alive followed the plight of small businesses in the Historic District as COVID-19 struck with vengeance in early March. Now there is a promising new financial initiative that could have a big impact on the West End.
The West End Merchants Association has reported that more than 40% of businesses have closed in the neighborhood, many of them permanently. Many of those who survive do so from day to day.
Among them is McDowell Cleaners on Cascade Road, which has been around for 60 years.
“As of March, our business went down about 60%, and we tried to keep everyone working, and we were really out of breath,” said Reg Kirk, owner of McDowell.
“We kept the doors open during the pandemic and we did not cut our service, but it was difficult with the lack of activity,” he added.
Now Invest Atlanta is stepping in with a multimillion dollar low interest loan program at a critical time. Invest Atlanta said the loans will carry an interest rate of 1% to 3% and that repayments will not begin until March 2021.
“Over $ 1 million will be available in terms of loans,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, CEO and President of Invest Atlanta, an Atlanta-based business development agency.
“If you include all of our other programs, especially the citywide CARES law, the number will rise to over $ 2 million,” she added.
For Reg Kirk and his McDowell cleaners, loans of up to $ 50,000 can keep him going.
“This will give us working capital and money to make improvements to our business, like a new delivery vehicle or a new piece of much needed equipment,” Kirk said.
George Andrews, director of Unity National Bank, said the loan program could save the West End.
“This money is essential for businesses to really survive. It will be used for what I call the economic diversity of their product, ”he said.
West End small business owners can now Invest in the Atlanta site and follow the instructions to apply for the loans.