To help local small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis, the city and VyStar Credit Union have partnered to create an emergency Business Community Relief Loan program that will provide low-cost loans with repayment flexibility to qualifying businesses within Duval County.
VyStar will handle underwriting, processing, and servicing of the loans, with approval and funding in three to five days, and will be responsible for credit losses due to default. Up to $100,000 in loans will be available for qualifying businesses; there is no minimum loan amount. All loans will have a fixed interest rate of 5.99%.
Payments on the loans will be interest-only for the first year with principal and interest payments beginning in year two. VyStar will be waiving underwriting fees for each loan, with the help of a grant from the city.
The city will grant $1,000 to the first 3,000 businesses to be awarded a loan through the program. It will also pay one year of interest costs for all qualifying businesses – and will continue paying interest costs through year six for businesses that maintain 50% or more of their pre-COVID-19 workforce.
To qualify for the relief loan program, businesses must have been operating for at least a year, have between 2 and 100 employees, and be able to provide the most recent tax return documents for both the business and its owners. They must also not fall under a category of business that is otherwise excluded from VyStar’s standard lending criteria or by the state’s bridge loan program.
Businesses interested in applying for a loan can fill out an application here: https://vystarcu.org/VyStar/media/PDF/Business-Loan-Application-COVID19-Loan.pdf. They’ll then send that application, as well as the relevant tax forms, to JaxReliefLoan@vystarcu.org.
For more information on the relief loan program, visit https://vystarcu.org/coronavirus.