Neuhaus proposes offering no-interest loans to small businesses

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GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus today proposed using county Industrial Development Agency funding to offer no-interest loans to small county businesses in need as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

nce all of the legal questions have been answered, he would like to start offering the loans of up to $10,000 each to businesses deemed most in need.

Neuhaus has developed a one-page application that businesses would submit for review.

Among concerns businesses have expressed to the county executive are mortgage relief and tax relief. This could be short term relief until the feds and state provide incentives.

IDA CEO Laurie Villasuso said by law, the IDA is prevented from loaning out funds; however, its sister organization, the Orange County Funding Corporation, may do so. One million of its bank account is already committed to extending the Orange County Heritage Trail, which leaves some $500,000 to $600,000 in the bank. Villasuso, who is also in charge of the funding corporation, said they would consider loaning some, but not all, of that for the business loans.

The infrastructure would have to be put in place along with an application approved by the agency’s board. She would expect the program could begin in early April.