Community

Published on April 23rd, 2020 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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A Resilient Columbia: Economic Sustainability Plan Has So Far Aided 220 Locally Owned Businesses

As the City of Columbia quickly mobilized into quarantine and social distancing measures to contain and halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Columbia City Council recognized the immediate enormous impact the closures and isolation efforts would have on our locally owned businesses and restaurants. In response, on March 20 City Council unanimously passed A Resilient Columbia: Economic Sustainability Plan to provide a stabilization package offering small businesses, within the corporate limits of Columbia, forgivable loans to provide short-term financial relief if they have been impacted by a loss of revenue because of COVID-19 containment and safety efforts.
 
“The crux of the Resilient Columbia program is making sure our small businesses have the funds to survive and get through this storm,” said City Council member Edward H. McDowell. Jr., who also serves as Chair of the Administrative Policy Committee. “I am hearing from the business owners throughout District 2 they are receiving their checks, which are vital in helping them meet their daily expenses. The Resilient Columbia plan is part of the overwhelming vision of City Council to make sure our small businesses are relevant, and that now more than ever our leadership efforts will prove to help them.”

As of April 21, 388 local businesses have submitted completed applications. The City of Columbia continues to review and award the Resilient Columbia Sustainability Plan loans, and currently 220 have been awarded – totaling $999,750 of revenue assistance. Currently, another 103 applications have been reviewed with funding recommended for them, and 31 applications are still in the review process. Because of the success of the program, this afternoon Columbia City Council unanimously added an additional $400,000 in funding for loans to local businesses.

Details on the Resilient Columbia Sustainability Plan and its distribution to local businesses currently struggling during the COVID-19 containment measures, and can be read HERE.

Local business owners who have received Resilient Columbia Economic Sustainability loans were pleased to express how the loans have helped them:
 

  • Thank you, Mayor and City Council so much for looking out for the small businesses in Columbia.  It will make a huge difference for us and other small businesses throughout the city.”
  • “Thank you. These funds have helped us tremendously during this uncertain time, and we are truly grateful for the financial support, which was much needed.” 
  • “I am very grateful to the City of Columbia. I feel the support and especially in these very challenging times. Thank you for your help.”
https://ecp.yusercontent.com/mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgallery.mailchimp.com%2F4ff311bda4e66420182eab113%2Fimages%2Fd6356536-bf4e-493b-9aed-73368bbc4919.jpg&t=1587644581&ymreqid=88e58473-8ca7-5dfe-1c50-0e0001018400&sig=nK6QcWPseh8AQcJRgLbeNg--~C

This has truly been a collaborative effort between the Office of Business Opportunities, Economic Development, and Finance.  Staff in all departments are working together to make sure the funds are distributed to our small businesses quickly in an effort to provide them needed economic relief during this enormous public health crisis.
 
My greatest thanks to our City Council for their dedication to ensuring not only public health and safety, but also their economic vision and devotion to the small businesses and hard-working employees who make up the economic engine of our One Columbia community.
 
With my greatest thanks,

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