Mayor Barlow announces loan forgiveness for $276,000 COVID-19 business loans
Mayor Billy Barlow announced today the City of Oswego is forgiving all $276,000 in COVID-19 business loan funding issued last March to assist businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, due to COVID-19, New York State shut down and restricted businesses, resulting in financial hardships for small businesses, including restaurants. As a result, Mayor Barlow quickly announced $276,000 in loan funding available for small businesses, with no interest for 20 months, to assist with the sudden and unexpected closures and mandated restrictions. Within ten days of the announcement, the city had issued 33 loans to businesses throughout Oswego.
Now, one year later, Barlow says the city will use funding received through the American Rescue Plan to fully forgive all loans that were issued, converting loans into grants, immediately. “Small businesses were among the hardest hit at the beginning of the pandemic last March, continued to struggle due to economic restrictions throughout the pandemic and need assistance as they finally begin to re-open. Even as our economy re-opens, local, small businesses still face restrictions and many other challenges, and that is why immediately converting the loan funding to grant funding is so helpful and important,” said Mayor Billy Barlow.
Businesses who received the loan funding last March should immediately contact the City of Oswego Office of Economic Development at 315-343-3795 or [email protected] to ensure the conversion of their loan funding into grant funding. Businesses who have already paid off their loan funding from last year are still entitled to grant funding and should also contact the Office of Economic Development.
Nick Canale, owner of Canale's Restaurant who received a $10,000 emergency loan from the city last March, thanked Mayor Barlow and the City of Oswego saying, “in a time of great uncertainty, Mayor Barlow and the Economic Development team truly were life savers. The emergency loan came at the perfect time and really gave us peace of mind at an incredibly stressful time. Throughout the pandemic the City has been a such a valuable partner to local businesses like mine. I'm so thankful to live in a city whose leadership understands and supports the local small businesses.”
Evan Coy, owner of The Comic Shop said, “Mayor Barlow and the Office of Economic Development have demonstrated tremendous commitment to our community’s small businesses during these trying times. The city of Oswego has shown time and again that they are committed to the betterment of our local economy with actions, not just words. By relieving small businesses of these loans, the leadership of Oswego is ensuring brighter times for all Oswegonians. The Comic Shop is grateful to all involved and look forward to serving our Oswego community for years to come.”
The City of Oswego received $1.89 million in funding from the Federal Government’s American Rescue Plan and will use funds to replenish the City of Oswego Small Business Commercial Loan Funding Program once the COVID-19 grants are issued.