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City of Belmont helping small business owners

By Alan Hodge

[email protected]

The City of Belmont is helping small, non-franchised businesses within the city limits by offering $400,000 in emergency loans to those that apply and are approved. The first round of $10,000 checks were handed over on April 9 to four businesses including - Luke Manlove, Belmont Specialty Foods; Emory and C.J. Vandiver, Catawba River Antique Mall; Majid Amoorpor, Everyday Market; Jamie Wallin, Two Chicks Sandwiches and Scoops.

Belmont mayor Charles Martin was on hand to see the checks distributed at city hall and had this to say about the event.

“We know some of our small businesses are struggling right now,” Martin said. “We had some money in a fund to help them survive. It was wonderful to see the faces of the business owners when they got the checks. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our city.”

On April 15, two more businesses in Downtown Belmont- Magnolia and Vine and GiGis- also received checks.

The loan program is called “Keep the Lights on in Belmont”. Loans to the businesses are designed to tide them over with operating expenses until state or federal help becomes available or until the current economic challenge is over.

To be eligible for one of the loans, applicants must complete an online application and submit all required documentation. The business must have fifty of fewer employees. Corporate or chain stores are not eligible. The business must be inside the corporate city limits as of March 20, 2020 and have a current, lawful business permit. The business also needs to provide a W9 tax form.

The loan applications will be reviewed by a panel of city employees drawn from different departments. The loans will be by direct payment as in the case of the ones already given out. The loans terms are 36 months with interest at 7% per annum and are unsecured. Payments to the City of Belmont will be deferred for the first twelve months, but interest will accrue during the deferral period. All loan agreements and terms will be documented by a promissory note.

Folks interested in donating to the Downtown Belmont Development Association “Keep the Lights on in Belmont” fund at