The Coast News Group
Small Business Loans
The City of Carlsbad is helping small businesses by offering low-interest loans. File photo

Carlsbad approves small business COVID-19 loans

CARLSBAD —The City of Carlsbad is in the process of executing $1.2 million in low-interest loans to some 60 local businesses hurt by COVID-19 as part of its Economic Recovery and Revitalization Initiative.

That sum represents about a quarter of the $4.4 million the Carlsbad City Council authorized May 5.

“We’re on a good track to steadily use the capacity in the program … and I expect we will see an uptick in applications if there is no additional federal stimulus,” said David Graham, who heads the city’s economic development department.

Carlsbad’s “program is actually funding loans at the exact moment when businesses need them the most,” he said. “The vast majority that needed help at the beginning of the pandemic got help through PPP and to a lesser extent EIDL [i.e., federal loans]. However, for most businesses, those funds have run out. These loans are needed now as businesses are out of savings, have experienced reduced or no revenue for a prolonged period, and are now able to operate at some level.”

Approved loans range from $5,000 to $25,000, with an average of $19,800, according to the city’s Oct. 2 response to The Coast News’ public records request. Interest rates range from 0% to 3%, depending on the loan amount and repayment duration.

Accepted applicants include, among others, The Surrogacy Law Center, Lash Mi (eyelashes, makeup, tanning), Arcana Brewing Company, Luminate Financial Services, Glass and Mirror Shoppe, Sun Flour Bagel, Devin C. Hughes Enterprises (organizational development coach, speaker), Drain Runner Plumbing, Mina Shoes, Price Rite Pharmacy, Five Alarm Security, Reesan Holdings (“professional consulting and training services,” according to state filings), and Clean It (carpet cleaning).

According to the city’s website: “To qualify for the loans, businesses must hold a valid City of Carlsbad business license as of March 1, 2020, and be in good standing with the city. Applicants who have already applied for federal assistance may not use city loan money for costs covered by federal assistance. Loans should be used for operational expenses such as rent, payroll, mortgage interest and utilities.”

Other cities, including Oceanside and San Marcos, have implemented similar programs.