Lawrenceville, June 8, 2020 – The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a plan to offer $20 million in federal CARES Act loans and grants for local for-profit businesses hurt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county has approved two vendors to administer $10 million in loans and $10 million in grants under the Gwinnett Small Business Assistance Program. County staff anticipate being able to accept applications by June 30.

“The economic slowdown from the pandemic has taken a major toll on many of our small businesses, some of which were just getting on their feet when this hit,” said Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “The Gwinnett Small Business Assistance Program will provide vital financial resources that can help eligible companies survive until better times.”

As envisioned, grants, which will be administered by the firm W. Frank Newton Inc., are capped at $75,000 and can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, utilities, inventory, equipment or other COVID-19 response needs.

The grants would target small businesses that cannot access capital due to the businesses’ inability to meet minimum underwriting standards. To be eligible for a grant, the applicant would need to be a Gwinnett-based business in operation for more than one year, with up to 200 employees, and have active Secretary of State filings and organizational documents in good standing.

The SBAP also is planning to offer 36-month term loans between $50,000 and $200,000 with the first nine months of principal and interest payments waived. The loan program, which would focus on small businesses that can adapt and continue to generate some sales, will be administered by Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. The loans would help businesses reopen their doors with such needs as deep cleaning facilities, modifying facilities to accommodate ongoing social distancing, restocking inventory, marketing to their clients, and/or paying staff in advance of reopening and achieving revenue.

Applicants for the loans would need to be businesses with more than two years in operation with up to 500 employees, active Secretary of State filings and organizational documents in good standing.