A second round of the forgivable loan program designed to provide financial assistance to local small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak is being offered by the City of Muscatine.
The Economic Assistance for Muscatine Small Businesses program was implemented to ensure Muscatine’s economy can rebound as quickly as possible from the impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis.
The application period for the second round opened today (May 28) and will close at midnight on June 7, 2020.
In addition to a second round of economic assistance, the City, with approval of the City Council, has streamlined the application procedure to facilitate outdoor seating for area restaurants. A moratorium on three sections of City Code relating to Outdoor Restaurant Seating License was granted by City Council but will expire on October 15, 2020, unless extended by Council.
“This is part of the City’s ongoing effort to support the small businesses of Muscatine,” Greg Jenkins, Interim City Administrator, said. “We recognize that we have to step up, and not in a minor way, to make sure that we can get past this health crisis and promote the economic recovery of our city.”
The loan program, developed in cooperation with the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine and the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will be administered by the City’s Department of Community Development. City Council approved the use of up to $400,000 from the Small Business Forgivable Loan program at its April 16 meeting.
Up to $2,500 will be available to each approved business for legitimate business expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, inventory, or personnel.
The moratorium on sections of City Code in regards to outdoor restaurant seating license streamlines the process so that once the site plan has been reviewed and approved by the Community Development Department, approval can be granted by the current City Administrator or his/her designee. In addition, it suspends the requirement to notify adjacent businesses and boundaries of the standard program.
Modifications to the process of approving outdoor seating easement agreement applications this year will also include applicable social distancing and prevention requirements of the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control.
Applications for outdoor seating easement can be made to Andrew Fangman, Assistant Community Development Director, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What you need to know
Eligibility requirements and answers to other questions about the loan program can be found at Frequently Asked Questions under the Economic Assistance section of the Community Develop page on the City website.
For more information on economic assistance to small businesses, click on the small business icon in the upper right hand side of the City of Muscatine landing page or click here to go to ECONOMIC PROGRAMS
For more information on the requirements for Outdoor Restaurant Seating License, read Title 3 (Public Ways and Property), Chapter 1 (Streets and Sidewalks), Section 6 (Outdoor Restaurant Seating License) by visiting the section under Economic Programs on the City website.
— City of Muscatine
This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.