Monday, April 13, 2020

Vystar and City of Jacksonville to Provide Support to Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus

The City of Jacksonville (Florida) and Vystar Credit Union (Jacksonville, FL) have entered into a public-private partnership program to support local small businesses affected by the coronavirus.

Vystar Credit Union has set aside $50 million for small business loans.

Under the credit union's COVID-19 Small Business Relief Loan Program, small businesses located in Duval County can apply for loans up to $100,000 at a 5.99 percent interest rate. The loan will be interest only during the first year. If the loan application is approved, the first 3,000 loan recipients will get a $1,000 grant from the city.

VyStar will waive the $250 loan underwriting fee for loans under $5,000. The city will pay the fee for loans above $5,000.

The city will cover 100 percent of the loan interest payments in the first year. In years two through six, the city will provide grants to cover interest costs, if businesses retain at least 50 percent of their pre-coronavirus workforce.

If the grant recipient retains 100 percent of its pre-coronavirus workforce, the small business will receive principal forgiveness during years 2 through 6 of 10 percent annually.

The city is allocating $9 million from the city’s general fund for the first year of the COVID-19 Small Business Relief & Employee Retention Grant Program. The maximum funding for the program will be $26 million over six years.

The credit union will administer the program for the city.

The Ordinance creating the program was passed unanimously by the City Council on April 6.

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