MONTICELLO — Small business owners struggling during the COVID-19 health emergency will soon be able to apply for a loan to help stay afloat.

The city’s board of works and public safety and the common council each OK’d a plan to make available $50,000 in loans from the Monticello Economic Development Revolving Fund to help businesses within the city limits who have been “adversely affected” by the coronavirus pandemic.

The funds will come from the city’s Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) fund, which holds deposits of taxpayers’ collected tax on adjusted gross income and is the city’s distributive share from the county’s EDIT fund.

The $50,000 has been shifted into a revolving account, mandated by state law, from which money may be loaned to any borrower for one or more of the following economic development purposes: Promoting significant job opportunities for gainful employment; attracting a major new business enterprise; or retaining or expanding a significant enterprise in the city.

The revolving fund is similar to one the White County Commissioners created in March that paved the way for it to give a $3 million forgivable loan to Indiana Beach Holdings LLC to keep the amusement and water park resort operational.

The maximum possible award for any applicant within the city limits will be capped at $5,000, but because the Small Business Loan Program has limited funding, not all loan requests may be approved or approved at the level requested. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee.

Terms of the loan will be for a fixed period of two years at 1% interest. If the borrower has satisfied terms of the loan agreement and promissory note by its maturity date, the loan will be forgiven and essentially become a grant — so long as the business stays open during the term of the loan.

Small businesses must be current on all taxes, not in violation of any federal, state or local codes and ordinances, be credit-worthy, and other criteria as determined by the council.
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