OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow has announced that the City of Oswego is waiving all $ 276,000 in COVID-19 commercial loans issued last March to help businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, due to COVID-19, New York State closed and restricted businesses, causing financial hardship for small businesses, including restaurants. As a result, Mayor Barlow quickly announced $ 276,000 in small business funding, interest-free for 20 months, to help deal with sudden and unplanned closings and mandatory restrictions. Within 10 days of the announcement, the city had made 33 loans to businesses across Oswego.
Now, a year later, Barlow says the city will use the funding received through the US bailout to completely cancel any loans that have been issued, immediately converting the loans into grants. “Small businesses were among the hardest hit at the start of the pandemic last March, have continued to struggle with economic restrictions throughout the pandemic and need help as they finally begin to reopen . Even as our economy reopens, local small businesses still face restrictions and many other challenges, and that is why immediately converting loan funding to grant funding is so useful and important, ”said Mayor Billy Barlow.
Businesses that received loan funding last March should immediately contact the Oswego City Economic Development Office at 315-343-3795 or [email protected] to convert their loan funding into grant funding. Businesses that have already paid off their loan from last year are still eligible for grants and should also contact the Office of Economic Development.
Nick Canale, owner of Canale’s restaurant which received an emergency loan of $ 10,000 from the city last March, thanked Mayor Barlow and the town of Oswego, saying: “In a time of great uncertainty, the Mayor Barlow and the economic development team were a real life saver. The emergency loan came at the perfect time and really gave us peace of mind at an extremely stressful time. Throughout the pandemic, the city has been a valued partner for local businesses like mine. I am very grateful to live in a city whose leaders understand and support local small businesses. “
Evan Coy, Owner of The Comic Shop, said, “Mayor Barlow and the Office of Economic Development have shown a tremendous commitment to the small businesses in our community during these difficult times. The City of Oswego has shown time and time again that it is committed to improving our local economy through actions, not just words. By relieving small businesses of these loans, Oswego management is ensuring clearer times for all Oswegonians. The Comic Shop is grateful to everyone involved and looks forward to serving our Oswego community for years to come.
The City of Oswego has received $ 1.89 million in U.S. bailout funding from the federal government and will use funds to replenish the City of Oswego’s Small Business Commercial Loan Funding Program once the grants COVID-19 will be issued.