Reading Launches Applications for Small Business Emergency Loans

June 10, 2020 – The Community First Fund has extend the City of Reading Small Business Emergency Loan Fund program. Applications will continue to be accepted until June 15th, 2020 at 5pm.

May 27, 2020 – The City of Reading will start accepting applications for a new loan program that provides emergency relief to small businesses struggling under the financial impact of COVID-19.

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The City of Reading Small Business Emergency Fund has been developed at the request of Mayor Eddie Moran in collaboration with Community First Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

This program is designed to help small “mom and pop” businesses within the City of Reading. City Council has enthusiastically endorsed the effort.

Mayor Moran emphasizes, “We are each other’s neighbors. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community, and in tough times like those under COVID-19, we need to support them any way we can. The loans available under this emergency fund will not have to be repaid if certain federal requirements are met; similar to the Paycheck Protection Program.”

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Community First Fund will manage and distribute all funding in an equitable, timely and structured manner using the following funding sources and terms:

$350,000 from the City’s current Micro-Loan Program fund; and $650,000 from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

Business Loan Terms:

  • 0% interest for the first year.
  • Loan is forgivable when funds are used for working capital.
  • A maximum two-year amortization at 1% per annum.

Loan amounts will be contingent upon underwriting according to annual business revenue noted below:

  • Businesses with annual revenue less than $250,000, may apply for $2,500 and up to
  • Businesses with annual revenue between $250,001 and $500,000, may apply for
    $5,000 and up to $10,000.
  • Businesses with annual revenue between $500,001 and $1,000,000, may apply for
    $7,500 and up to $20,000.
  • Businesses with annual revenue over $1 million are not eligible to apply.

Eligible use of funds (business purposes only) include: working capital such as payroll; mortgage or rent; utility payments; inventory; and other debt payments. Preference will be given for small businesses that have a storefront, including but not limited to, retail stores, restaurants, auto repair shops, grocery stores, hair salons and other critical businesses.

Applications will be selected according to criteria and ranked according to historic profitability, historically disadvantaged populations, and lost revenue, just to name a few.
Business Owners can access information and apply online at:

  • Applications will be received through the end of business day, June 10, 2020.
  • Applicants may upload pertinent information, such as business categories, business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.), and/or other certifications.

These forgivable loans will help traditionally disadvantaged small businesses that have struggled to access recent federal government-funded programs. Community First Fund will begin accepting applications on May 27th. It is expected that loan funds will be disbursed in mid-to- late June.

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