MANKATO — The city of Mankato is ready to take applications for financial assistance from small businesses that have seen 50% or more of their revenue decline due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Loans of up to $5,000 will be provided through the city’s Sustaining Loan Program to be used for lease/mortgage payments, property taxes, supplies and inventory, and utility bills.

The applications are targeted at businesses with 50 or fewer employees and are due by June 1. Loan recipients with outstanding municipal utility bills will see proceeds applied first to paying off those bills.

The loans will offer a 0% interest rate for one year, and no repayments will be required during that first year. After that, the interest rate is 2% and the loan must be paid off during the ensuing two-year period.

The applications can be found at mankatomn.gov/home/showdocument?id=8497, or business owners can request a paper copy by calling 387-8600.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they’ve lost at least half of their revenue due to the pandemic by including a financial statement, such as a monthly profit and loss statement, “from shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic or for a comparable period in a prior year and another financial statement during the COVID-19 pandemic to show the revenue decrease,” according to the application.

Business owners will also need detail their planned uses for the loans and must list other financial assistance received from government aid programs enacted for businesses struggling in the pandemic-related economic downtown.

The city offers assurances that financial information submitted as part of the application process will remain private, although the size of any loan granted will be public information.

The Mankato City Council, operating as the city’s Economic Development Authority, has authorized $140,000 for the program and may consider increasing the funding if the number of applications is high. Loans are expected to be awarded starting in June.

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