At our May 19 Board of Supervisors meeting, my colleagues and I unanimously approved the implementation of the Kern Small Business Relief Program. This program provides $25 million in loans for local small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
In the coming days, local small business owners and tax-exempt nonprofit organizations will be able to apply for a forgivable loan from multiple local business lenders.
Local small businesses will be eligible to receive a forgivable loan in an amount equal to four months of your average monthly payroll costs, up to a maximum of $75,000. To qualify for a KSBRP loan, your business, or tax-exempt nonprofit organization, must have fewer than 50 employees and $5 million in annual revenues, must be located here in Kern County, and be directly impacted by COVID-19.
Local small businesses are an essential component to Kern’s economy. Unfortunately, many were unable to get emergency funding from the federal Payroll Protection Program. The Kern Small Business Relief Program seeks to address this deficiency by providing forgivable loans to these small local businesses and tax-exempt nonprofits.
For those local small businesses receiving a KSBRP loan, proceeds must be spent within 16 weeks of being received, and must be used as follows: at least 34 percent to cover payroll and payroll related costs (group health care benefits, retirement benefits, payroll taxes), up to 33 percent for general working capital, and up to 33 percent for rent, mortgage interest, and utilities.
All principal and interest payments on the loan will be deferred until it is either forgiven, or due and payable. Loan proceeds spent within the allowable timeframe (16 weeks) and for the allowable above mentioned uses, along with all accrued interest, will be forgiven upon receipt of acceptable documentation of compliance. Documentation of compliance is due from the local small business borrower within 18 weeks of loan issuance. Loan amounts not forgiven will become due, and payable in full, 20 weeks from the loan date, with a 1 percent interest rate for the portion of the loan not forgiven.
Additional details, including how and when local business can apply for a KSBRP loan, provided through a dedicated county webpage, will be available in the coming days. As your Kern County Supervisor, I am thrilled that we were able to secure this vital funding for our local small businesses and tax-exempt nonprofit organizations who have been hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
You all are instrumental in maintaining a vibrant and strong Kern County and I thank you for all you do to make Kern County a great place to call home. It is an honor and privilege to represent you on the Board of Supervisors.
Zack Scrivner is Kern County's second district supervisor.