ORONO – The town of Orono and University Credit Union announced a relief fund to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Among the hardest hit by COVID-19, some small businesses were forced to shut down and were left with no revenue or funds to keep up with the costs of keeping the business operational.
But now, the town of Orono and the University of Credit Union joined together to provide a COVID-19 relief fund to help businesses get back on their feet.
“We’ve always been committed to the town of Orono and when the town approached us about this loan program, it didn’t take much to jump right on board with it. Our history is here in the town of Orono,” said Derek Hebert, business services manager of University of Credit Union.
Under this program, business owners can apply for a zero-interest loan and payments are deferred for six months.
Loans can range between $5,000-10,000 depending on what the business needs.
“Really what they’re going to need to help their business to float, whether it’s for working capital, for payroll, really what they need it for. There’s not many limitations on it. We just want to make sure it is helping them get through the pandemic,” said Hebert.
According to Hebert, the project started when the pandemic began.
Orono-based businesses will now have access to low-cost working capital.
David Milan, a director of the town of Orono’s community development, said this fund will make their business better than it was prior to the global crisis.
“We think that it could be a way for them to pivot, re-purpose their business, learn from the experience that they’ve had during this tough time,” David Milan, director of the office of community development.
Applications are being accepted now through December 31.