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Friday, September 28, 2018

Governor Baker and Merrimack Valley Local Officials Announce $1 Million Emergency Loan Fund for Impacted Merrimack Valley Businesses

Governor Baker and Merrimack Valley Local Officials Announce $1 Million Emergency Loan Fund for Impacted Merrimack Valley Businesses
Impacted businesses can apply for no interest and no payment loans for the next six months

LAWRENCE - Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor and Andover Town Manager Andrew Flanagan to announce a $1,000,000 emergency loan fund for businesses directly impacted by the recent gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

The fund will offer emergency loans to eligible businesses with no payments and no interest for the first six months. For businesses that extend beyond a six month period, market rates will apply and loans will be able to be extended or restructured for multi-year term loans. The fund will open October 1 and have an expedited application and approval process, with the goal of getting all applications processed within 24 and 48 hours. 

“After spending time with impacted business owners, we came up with this fund as a critical tool to help get folks back on their feet in the wake of the gas explosions,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Local businesses are the bedrock of our economy and are in dire need of solutions to make sure they can stay in business and continue to provide good paying jobs, and we are grateful for the regional lenders that have come together to support this important effort.”

“As we work to provide resources for the impacted businesses in Greater Lawrence, we are grateful to the many lenders who have stepped up to contribute to this emergency loan fund,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We will continue to work together to find ways to effectively provide assistance to those impacted by this terrible disaster.”

"Businesses in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover find themselves in a situation they did not create but nonetheless are victims of,” said Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera. “With this fund being created, we don't intend to solve all of their problems, but we hope this provides some much needed relief.  I'd like to publicly thank the Governor Baker’s team, MCCI and the 10 banks that have stepped up to help business in the three communities with the creation of this fund.”

“Andover’s downtown and several other business districts are in the affected area. This program will provide our businesses with the resources to make the investments needed to reopen and get their employees back to work,” said Andover Town Manager Andrew P. Flanagan. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and critical to our local economy.  I’m pleased that we are in a position to help them reopen.”

"The foundation of the economy of North Andover and the broader Greater Lawrence area is built on the success of our local small businesses,” said North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor. “This fund will help ensure that these small businesses will have access to the capital they need to meet their challenges, succeed, and grow."

The fund is the result of the collective effort of Mass Growth Capital Corporation, Lawrence Partnership, the ten lenders involved with the Lawrence Venture Loan Fund and Mill Cities Community Investments (MCCI).

Mass Growth Capital Corporation contributed $500,000 to the fund, with another $500,000 committed by the Lawrence Venture Loan Fund, with equal participation from the following regional lenders:

·       Enterprise Bank
·       Eastern Bank
·       TD Bank
·       Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union
·       Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union
·       DCU
·       Pentucket Bank
·       Align Credit Union
·       The Savings Bank
·       Reading Cooperative Bank

A $250,000 loan loss reserve for this fund has been contributed by Columbia Gas.

“We are proud to contribute to the recovery of the small businesses of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover,” said Mass Growth Capital Corporation President Larry Andrews. “Through this emergency loan fund, impacted businesses will be able to access capital quickly and accelerate their recovery so that they can serve their customers and employees by providing their essential products and services.” 

“This is a unique opportunity to bring together ten financial institutions, historically competitors, but are working together as collaborators with a common cause,” said Lawrence Partnership Executive Director Derek Mitchell. “The leadership they’ve shown to align resources, support core community needs is to be celebrated in what they’ve accomplished and how they’ve done it.”

“This emergency loan fund will bring some temporary financial relief to many small businesses negatively impacted by the gas incident in the region,” said Frank Carvalho, Executive Director, Mill Cities Community Investments. “As of Monday October 1, businesses will be able to begin a streamlined process to get to funds that will help them continue to be an ongoing business concern through this very adverse conditions.”

MCCI, a registered Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) will be the lender of the fund, which will be launched on Monday, October 1.


Loan Relief Loan Fund Details
WHO QUALIFIES: Any business that has been impacted by the recent gas disaster will qualify for the funds, including businesses from Lawrence, Andover, and N. Andover.

TERMS/RATES: this fund is being offered with no payments and no interest for the first 6 months.  For businesses that extend beyond a 6 month period, market rates will apply and loans can be extended or restructured for multi-year term loans.  Businesses can apply for up to $50,000.   There is no minimum loan amount.

APPLICATION PROCESS AND REQUIREMENTS: The fund is designed to create an expedited application and approval process, with the goal of getting all applications processed within 48 hours. 

For a full listing of required documentation go to www.wearelawrence.org/lawrencegasresponsebusiness.

HOW TO APPLY: Mill Cities Community Investments will receive all applications for this fund and will process internally.  They can be contacted by phone, email, or in-person at:
50 Island Street, Suite #103
Lawrence, MA 01840
978-258-277

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