CINNAMINSON, NJ — The Jug Handle Inn will receive a $50,000 loan from Burlington County as part of program that helps businesses that are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, officials announced that they would continue to offer deferrals of all new and existing loans for businesses participating in either the County’s Small Business Loan Program and its Route 130 Revolving Loan Program.
In addition to deferring payments, the Burlington County Bridge Commission, the agency that administers both loan programs, will continue waiving the agency’s $200 application fee for both programs.
The two loan programs are designed to help small businesses already in Burlington County, as well as those that are looking to relocate into the county.
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The Jug Handle Inn is one of six small businesses that recently received a loan, along with True Value Hardware in Medford, Moore Funeral Home in Bordentown, Able Technology in Burlington City, Summit Spinal Care in Moorestown and MS Moving & Storage in Palmyra.
The Jug Handle Inn located on Fork Landing Road in Cinnaminson — along with the other businesses — will be given the option to defer payments on the loan until Nov. 1, according to officials.
“The coronavirus pandemic is still active and has caused economic upheaval the likes that few businesses have ever experienced. Now is not the time for the county to try to collect from our mom-and-pop shops and Main Street employers who need working capital and cash in order to make payroll and continue operations,” Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Tom Pullion, liaison to the Bridge Commission and its Economic Development wing, said. “Offering to defer payments and waive application fees is one way we can help them carry on through these difficult times.”
Businesses within the Route 130 regional corridor are eligible for zero-interest loans through the Revolving Loan program. The Small Business Loan Program provides low-interest lending to county businesses in and outside the Route 130 corridor.
Between the two programs, they have provided loans to more than 30 businesses in the county and supported the creation or retention of more than 300 jobs, officials said. As of Wednesday, there are six loans in the Route 130 Revolving Fund program 19 total loans in the Small Business Loan Program, including the six already mentioned loans that were finalized last month by the Burlington County Bridge Commission.
“The pandemic has created challenges for everyone, but especially our small businesses. They’ve been forced to close or drastically change their operations in order to help keep us all safe and healthy,” Bridge Commission Chair Troy Singleton said. “I’m incredibly proud that the Freeholders, led by Deputy Director Pullion, are taking this common-sense action to give businesses some additional relief, and I encourage more businesses to reach out to see how our economic development team at the Bridge Commission can assist them.”
Both loan programs allow businesses to use the loans for working capital and purchases and can help businesses retain jobs that might be loss due to cash shortages during the pandemic.
Unlike commercial loans or U.S. Small Business Association loans, the county programs have no closing costs, and its low rates are fixed.
Both programs require sufficient collateral as security but carry no penalty for prepayments.
The loans are intended to give businesses flexibility and carry few stipulations compared to commercial financing or federal and state assistance programs.
“We know small businesses are the backbone of our economy so it’s important for all levels of government to work together to help them,” Singleton said. “These loan programs are a showcase for that concept and provide the helping hand our businesses need.”
Pullion called the business loans a critical part of Burlington County’s coronavirus response that has also included free coroanvirus testing, contact tracing, nutrition assistance and the distribution of personal protective equipment to first responders and long-term care facilities.
“From free COVID-19 testing and contact tracing to distributing protective equipment and food boxes and helping businesses, Burlington County and its partners have responded, and we will continue to do so for however long the pandemic lasts,” Pullion said.
More information about the county loan programs and other resources for businesses is available online at bcbridges.org/financial-resources-programs/ or by calling the Bridge Commission’s Office of Economic Development and Regional Planning at 609-265-5055.