The Greater Together Small Business Resilience Fund, a partnership between county and city officials, the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce and private industry, announced that 36 Washington County based small businesses have been awarded zero percent interest bridge loans totaling $517,500.
“This loan program was designed and launched to support small businesses in this time of great need. These are the businesses that create and sustain local jobs. These are the businesses who bring vibrancy and diversity to our community,” said Don Willie, president and CEO of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce. “These businesses are truly the backbone of our local economy.”
The St. George Area Chamber Foundation a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce has been tasked by donors to oversee the application and management of the loan fund. Applications are considered by reviewers who represent the entities who have invested into this loan fund. Each application is screened and then scored based on current need, financial health of the business prior to COVID-19, economic impact, and several other factors.
“We are grateful to be a part of this monumental lift taken by leaders in both the public and private sectors,” said St. George Mayor Jon Pike. “This provides the City of St. George an opportunity to support the businesses that have done so much for and in our community.”
Seventy-six applications were submitted and considered in the first round of funding. Those businesses who were declined are invited to reapply in the second round, which closes at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 23.
In a new partnership announced today with Canyon Media, recipients of the Greater Together Small Business Resilience Fund will also be eligible to receive $1,000 advertisement grants from Canyon Media and St. George News. These grants will help businesses communicate and connect with existing and new customers.
To date, the Greater Together Small Business Resilience Fund has received over $900,000 in donations from local governments, businesses and individuals. This fund provides zero-interest, short-term bridge funding for small businesses in Washington County experiencing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“During this time of great uncertainty, I’m proud that Washington County is able to join with several of our cities and private businesses in supporting this fund,” said Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson. “These funds will provide much needed relief to many small businesses who have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.”
The Greater Together Small Business Resilience Fund will allow these businesses to retain or rehire 164 full-time employees and 215 part-time employees in a variety of industries across the county, including:
Accommodation and Food Services 12 businesses awarded
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation 2 Businesses awarded
Construction 2 Businesses awarded
Education Services 2 Businesses awarded
Health Care and Social Assistance 4 Businesses awarded
Other Services (except public administration) 2 Businesses awarded
Retail Trade 6 Businesses awarded
Technology 2 Businesses awarded
Transportation and Warehousing 1 Business awarded
Wholesale Trade 3 Businesses awarded
Those interested in donating can mail a check in any amount to the St. George Area Chamber Foundation at 136 North 100 East, St. George, Utah 84770. Donations will also be accepted through the Greater Together Small Business Fund account at any Zions Bank drive-up location.
Donors Include: Washington County, St. George City, Washington City, Santa Clara City, Canyon Media, The Bonham Family Foundation, Cache Valley Bank, Zions Bank, Mountain America Credit Union, Southern Utah Home Builders Association, State Bank of Southern Utah and Alta Bank.
A full list of loan criteria and application instructions can be found at www.greatertogetherfund.org. Applications for a second round of the funds will be received and reviewed on a rolling basis through Thursday, April 23 at 11:59 p.m.