In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Macon County Economic Development Commission has established the Reopening Macon Fund.
The program, funded by a $257,500 appropriation from the Macon County Board of Commissioners, will provide low-interest loans to severely impacted small businesses in Macon County, helping them to remain open. Repayment is expected either from more permanent funding sources or from future cash flow of the business.
Loan amounts range from $2,500 to $10,000 and are available to businesses located, or based, in Macon County, have between 1 and 49 employees, been in business at least 12 months and have suffered a loss of revenue of 25% or more due to COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has greatly impacted Macon County’s economy and the recovery will take time,” said Jim Tate, Chairman of the Macon County Board of Commissioners. “Providing financial resources for local businesses will play an essential part in reopening our economy.”
Additional partners supporting the fund include the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Highlands Chamber of Commerce, Southwestern Community College’s Small Business Center and Western Carolina University’s Small Business and Technology Development Center.
“The Reopening Macon Fund will provide much needed assistance to our small business community,” said According to Ronnie Beale, Macon County Commissioner Vice-Chair. “Many do not have the resources to weather a long-term recovery. A loan of $2,500 or $5,000 could make the difference in surviving or being forced to close.”
Mountain BizWorks, a nonprofit community financial institution based out of Asheville, will be the administrator of the Reopening Fund, providing loan processing and underwriting services.
Locals businesses can apply online at mountainbizworks.org/reopeningmaconfund or contact the Macon County Economic Development Commission at 828.369.2306 for further information.
Submitted by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center