Business Survey findings guide department’s priorities for FY24
The Revere Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) announced their 2023 Small Business Loan Program, which features no-interest loans for microenterprises and small businesses on Broadway and Shirley Avenue. The program – sparked by findings from the 2023 Business Survey – aims to stimulate business for the purpose of retaining and expanding economic development and job growth in Revere by providing financial assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs located in the city.
“Working in the restaurant business for decades, I know firsthand how the pandemic has affected every business – from microenterprises, to small restaurants and even larger chains,” said Acting Mayor Keefe. “As part of the leadership transition team, I am working closely with the Chief of Planning and Community Development to prioritize financial opportunities for small businesses in Revere. Based on the 2023 Business Survey findings, it’s clear small businesses need assistance in any way they can get. I’m hopeful this program will work to expand those opportunities for our most needy entrepreneurs and owners, especially those on Shirley Ave, Broadway and microenterprises who can take advantage of these no-interest loans.”
In February, the City of Revere conducted a Business Survey to understand how businesses are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. From the survey findings, DPCD learned that across all business types 77% of respondents reported increased costs as their largest challenge. This Small Business Loan Program will offset those higher costs by providing loans to support equipment, start-up costs or new hiring.
“We have a vibrant small business community, and many are struggling with a mix of high costs rising interest rates,” said Chief of Planning and Community Development Tom Skwierawksi. “This loan program will help deal with these immediate needs, and will also create a revolving pool of funds to provide an additional financing option for the business community in the long-term.”
As part of the survey, DPCD also learned that over 80% of respondents who lease their facility are likely or somewhat likely to increase their physical footprint. This means 80% of respondents who lease their facility are interested in expanding their location to utilize something such as a shared space or an adjacent storefront. However, those who own their facility are less likely to expand their footprint due to the associated cost burden, particularly given rising interest rates. The Small Business Loan program will help reduce borrowing costs for those looking to expand their small businesses in the city.
All small businesses are eligible to apply, but only certain eligible businesses will have access to incentivized rates and terms. To better support our growing business districts, interest rates for businesses on Shirley Avenue and Broadway will be up to 0%, and the term of the loan will be five years. Additionally, interest rates for income-eligible (80% or less of the Area Median Income) microenterprises (five employees or less) will be up to 0%, and the term of the loan will be five years.
This program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. All loans will be required to meet job creation, job retention or other public benefit standards established under the CDBG program for the benefit of low- and moderate-income persons. All loans are subject to a CDBG eligibility review by the DPCD and will need documented the proposed benefit prior to the approval of any loans. For smaller business or service sector loans, which involve limited growth and job creation/retention potential, the loan limit shall be $35,000.
For loan requests determined to have significant job and business growth potential, the loan limit may be extended up to a maximum of $75,000 – max maturity 60-72 months with an established monthly payment of principal & interest payments. Interest rates will vary from 0% to 80% of the prime rate for a period of five years.