Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region has begun accepting applications for loans from small and medium-sized businesses in the region. The partially forgivable loans, which are capped at $40,000, are meant to ensure that rural businesses that do not qualify for other federal business support programs get help and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Director Holly Sorgen says they’ve been finding, as things are happening so quickly and situations are changing so rapidly, there is a chance that some businesses are getting lost in the cracks. She adds the federal government’s one million dollars in funding for the Peace Country will go a long way.

“We’re a proven program, we work with rural business and we have strong tentacles in our community. It just made sense to use a program they support already to deliver a program like this as well.”

Sorgen says the loans, regardless of size, have no accrual of interest, and won’t force businesses to pay for the principal until December 31, 2022. If 75 per cent of the loan is repaid by that time, the remainder of the loan would be forgiven.

“Just to be able to cover off those everyday overhead costs, or sometimes, for some of these businesses, to help them pivot in a specific direction and to give them some of that leeway and a place to breath.”

More information and links to applications can be found on the Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region website. The funding is part of a previously announced $95.7 million earmarked for the Community Futures Pan West Network.