MONTEREY COUNTY — Cal Coastal will continue its small business disaster microloan program and even expand the offerings to larger loans to help during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, announced CEO Lee Takikawa during a county press conference Aug. 14.

“The county has just received notification as of July 23 of a huge award, $1.6 million through the Department of Commerce,” Takikawa said.

The funding is part of the CARES Act stimulus funding to help businesses continue operation during repeated shutdown orders from local and state governments.

“We’re very pleased, and it’s still in the works right now,” Takikawa said about the program.

Cal Coastal is planning for a Sept. 15 approval from the county to begin using the new funds.

The existing microloan fund allowed the funding of loans in the amount of $25,000 or less. The small, quick loans with low interest rates of 2.44% were meant to help business stay afloat during otherwise disastrous economic times.

As of Aug. 14, Takikawa said 19 loans totaling $426,000 had been issued. He added that there were more than 30 applications, and the 19 successful loans meant the saving of 80 local jobs.

There is currently $234,000 left in the fund, according to Takikawa, but the $1.6 million soon to be added will keep the program going longer and allow it to provide larger loans.

“There’s economic damage still to many of the businesses, and we’re going to be able to make larger loans with the injection of this funding,” Takikawa said.

New loan sizes could go up to as large as $400,000 at maximum.

“They do have to show economic injury due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a recovery plan to be able to recover post-Covid once we make these loans,” Takikawa said.

The program earlier carved out money to set aside in the amount of $200,000 for loans specifically in South Monterey County. Only four loans went through, totaling an estimated $95,000.

“There’s still money left, it never got fully used,” Takikawa said.

Previous articleEvacuation shelter opens at Salinas Valley Fairgrounds for fire evacuees
Next articleMonterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum hosts outdoor exhibit, fundraiser
Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here