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Low interest loans from City of San Marcos help businesses during pandemic

Posted at 4:05 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 20:23:02-04

SAN MARCOS (KGTV) -- The City of San Marcos has offered millions of dollars to help its city businesses during this pandemic.

In what’s being called the “COVID-19 Business Sustainability Program,” city businesses can apply for low-interest loans if they were affected by the global health crisis.

The owners of Cal West Auto Center applied and received one of these loans.

“In a matter of days they reached out to us and said hey, this is in the works. Give us a little more information,” co-owner Dan Drew said. They already received the loan money.

RELATED: Small businesses get second chance at Federal loans during pandemic

Brian Rott with Cart Mart said they also applied for the loan and received $50,000 to help their business.

“It was handled very well, very easy—a lot easier than the federal stimulus package for businesses like all of ours,” Rott said. “We still haven’t received our PPP from the government.”

Nearly 100 businesses have been approved for the loans, according to San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones. The interest rates range from 0 percent to 3.25 percent, depending on how much you receive and if it is paid back between six months to a year.

RELATED: Some San Diego small businesses struggling to apply for stimulus loans

If a business receives a loan between $25,001 to $50,000, the rate is 3.375 percent if repaid within 3 years and 3.5 percent if repaid in four years. Priority is given to businesses within 10 or more employees for loans between $25,000 to $50,000.

In addition, the loan repayment process begins “within 120 days after the City’s affirmative declaration that the local emergency is no longer in effect.”

With a population of roughly 100,000 in San Marcos, the program set aside $3 million from the city’s reserves. In comparison, the City of San Diego has a population of over 1 million people. Approximately $6.1 million was available in their Small Business Relief Fund is funded.

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“We’ve always been a very entrepreneurial sort of city,” Jones said. She credits their fiscal responsibility for being able to provide the millions for businesses who need these loans. Jones said other nearby cities have contacted them for insight into their program.

“Other cities have called us and said, ‘Hey, we really like what you’re doing. Can we maybe spinoff of what you’re doing?’,” Jones said. “I think that really shows a lot of how our cities come together too.”

To learn more about the program, click on this link.