By Lillian Donahue | September 30, 2020 at 3:33 PM EDT - Updated September 30 at 3:33 PM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With the pandemic’s profound impact on Charleston businesses, city leaders are working with the Lowcountry Development Corporation to make hundreds of thousands of dollars available to help keep small businesses afloat.
“We think at the LDC that these businesses are critical pieces of infrastructure,” Charleston LDC CEO Steve Saltzman said. “Once they’re gone, they’re extremely hard to get back.”
The city and Charleston LDC are now offering $850,000 in revolving loans for small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
Small businesses can apply for loans ranging anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000 each.
To qualify, the business has to make $2.5 million in revenue or less and have 25 employees or less to be eligible.
City code enforcement officials report more than400 businesses that have closed during the pandemic.
The owner of Hampden Clothing store, Stacy Smallwood, said her business lost 50 percent of her usual revenue because of the pandemic, yet she’s encouraged by the step The Charleston LDC is taking to try and support small businesses as they recover.
“Their commitment to local small businesses has been extraordinary,” Smallwood said. “I know that they have fought for funding for a long time so I’m very excited to hear that they’re getting the funding that they need and by extension we as small businesses will get what we need.”
Smallwood said she also wants to encourage everyone to take individual steps in supporting Charleston’s business district by thinking and shopping locally.
“We all need to work together to get our city thriving again,” Smallwood said. “Come support all of the retail, come support all of the local businesses because we are the fabric of what makes our community unique.”
Businessowners who have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply for a loan by reaching out to Info@CharlestonLDC.org.
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