City launching new loan-to-grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The city of Bakersfield is launching a new program designed to help small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city says the new ReSTART Loan-to-Grant Program will provide nearly $2 million in funds for local businesses with 25 or fewer employees. Loans will range from $5,000 to $50,000 per business.

For the first year, the city said approved businesses will need to make interest-only payments. The debt will be converted to a forgivable grant if payments are made on time for that year and the business is still around after 12 months.

Businesses must be physically located and operate in the city in order to be eligible, as well as have a valid business tax certificate from the city and have been in operation for at least one year. 

Businesses with annual revenues of more than $2 million are not eligible for this program. Nonprofit businesses are also not eligible, according to the city. 

Online applications open up at 8 a.m. on Monday at The program will accept applications until November 30, or until all funds are awarded, the city said.

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