Cleveland Unveils Grant and Loan Programs to Help Economic Recovery | New
The city of Cleveland has launched a strategic plan to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus, including financial assistance programs for residents and local businesses.
The city is preparing to start the reopening process, Mayor Frank Jackson said at a press conference on Monday. A potential increase in cases is predicted, Jackson said, and city officials are already looking for ways to reduce the impact of the virus in the future.
“If we don’t do it right then all the effort of the federal government, state government or local government, in terms of trying to restart our economy … will be a waste of money,” said Jackson.
The strategic plan aims to create relief for those affected immediately, Jackson said, but can be stepped up if needed.
Relief for the residents of Cleveland
Three new relief programs focus on helping residents facing unemployment, eviction or any other negative financial impact from the pandemic. The programs amount to around $ 18 million in aid and rely on multiple funding sources, including some support from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Housing assistance will receive the bulk of the funding, Jackson said, as this is where the city has seen the greatest demand for assistance.
“This is where – outside of food aid, which has a large network of providers – we are seeing the greatest increase in calls for service,” Jackson said.
The city will work with agencies already accustomed to providing this type of assistance to assess eligibility and distribute the funds, Jackson said.
The plans include:
- $ 11.3 million in rent assistance. The city aims to provide immediate assistance to residents on the verge of eviction, Jackson said. The fund will prioritize residents currently with no income, and beneficiaries will need a monthly certificate stating that they are not receiving a paycheck or unemployment. The fund will also help homeowners who own a small number of properties where tenants have deferred payments.
- $ 4.25 million for basic needs assistance. The program will cover food banks, food delivery services, utilities, services for the elderly, homeless awareness and referrals to other forms of assistance. The city will work with agencies experienced in providing such services, Jackson said.
- 2.5 million for special needs assistance. The fund will focus on the city’s homeless and those diagnosed with HIV / AIDS. Local authorities already have infrastructure in place to help these populations, Jackson said, and the money will help expand those services. This includes decentralizing the homeless population by placing people at risk in hotels rather than shelters, and by covering the increased costs of additional sanitation works and risk premiums.
New loan options for local businesses
The city is also offering more than $ 10 million in loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus, Jackson said. Loans will vary depending on the size of the business, and the effort includes a specific program for those facing changes in operational policies.
The programs put in place an infrastructure that can be expanded and built as needed, Jackson said, while being effective immediately.
“This is a basic overview of where we are heading as we attempt to protect the interests of the people and businesses of the City of Cleveland,” Jackson said.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate a negative impact of the pandemic on revenue and cash flow, Jackson said, as well as the ability to return to pre-coronavirus employment and operating levels.
Funding and programs include:
- $ 5.5 million for restoration working capital. Both large and small businesses can apply for the loan program, which will provide assistance with operational costs such as rent, mortgage, utilities, and payroll. Large businesses can receive loans of up to $ 100,000, and small businesses can be loaned up to $ 25,000. Preference will be given to companies unable to access other forms of relief.
- $ 3 million for emergency working capital. Small businesses can apply for a low interest loan of up to $ 10,000 to cover operating costs. This includes rent, mortgage, utilities and payroll. Payment is deferred until January 2021.
- $ 2 million for Emergency Working Capital – Specially Affected Businesses. Small local businesses facing a significant impact from the virus, such as restaurants, barbershops or barbershops, can apply for a loan of up to $ 20,000. The loan can be used to cover operating costs and the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE). Up to 50% of the loan is repayable if it is combined with the cost of the PPE. Applicants must provide a sustainability plan outlining the changes made due to the virus.
Additional efforts cover education, access to technology
The city is also investing $ 500,000 in expanding broadband connectivity for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), with students now expected to complete homework at home.
CMSD is already planning a $ 2.4 million investment to provide Internet access to families and the city is working with the school district to bring that total to nearly $ 3 million, Jackson said.
“This investment will support the basic infrastructure, household equipment and devices needed for students to access the Internet and complete their homework online,” Jackson said.
A survey conducted by CMSD last month found that about two-thirds of households in the district did not have access to a laptop, computer or similar device, and one-third of families did not have reliable internet access. CMSD provides devices to students and the program aims to provide Internet access to 1,000 other households with school-aged children.
The city is also working with hospitals and long-term care facilities to assess PPE supplies and testing capabilities, Jackson said. The strategic plan also includes work to improve isolation and contact tracing methods for residents who test positive.
“As we gradually open up this economy and more and more restrictions are removed on more and more types of businesses, as we move forward in May, June and July, people’s exposure will intensify.” , Jackson said. “It is essential for us to double the side of education, that of prevention and that of intervention.”
Coronavirus efforts will also include launching a city-wide educational campaign, Jackson said, explaining the risks of the virus, methods of transmission, preventative measures and what to do if you present. symptoms.