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North Adams is implementing a forgiveable loan program to help small businesses struggling due to the lingering impact of COVID-19.

NORTH ADAMS — There’s still time for small-business owners to grab a financial lifeline.

The city of North Adams is administering a program that provides forgivable loans of up to $10,000 to businesses to help cover documented losses due to the COVID-19 economic shutdown that are not offset by other funding programs.

The city was awarded $108,000 for loans through the federal CARES Act and the Community Development Block Grant.

The North Adams Microenterprise Stimulus Fund is implemented by the Franklin County Community Development Corp. The first round of funding opened Oct. 15; applications are due no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 2.

“This funding will help business owners meet critical needs in our community,” said Mayor Tom Bernard. “We know there is a significant need in the community, and while this program will not be able to fund all of the need, it will connect business owners to technical assistance and also provide us with a documented need for future funding possibilities.”

Amy Shapiro, business development director for the Franklin County CDC, said the agency was available to help business owners “to strategize how to sustain their business.”

Microenterprise businesses with five or fewer employees (including the owner at time of application) are eligible for the program if they meet the following criteria:

• Business owner’s household income is less than 80 percent HUD median income adjusted by household size (either using 2019 taxes or last 8 weeks of income)

• Business must be a for-profit business with a physical presence in North Adams.

• Businesses must provide goods or services to multiple clients or customers.

• Businesses must be in good standing with the state and city/town.

• Business must have been established prior to Jan. 1, 2019, and be in operation to the extent allowable under the state’s reopening requirements or be actively planning to reopen.

• Businesses must have annual sales of greater than $20,000 per year.

Documents: loan application, FAQ, and other forms will be available on the Franklin County CDC. The application’s documentation requirements include 2019 personal and business taxes, profit-and-loss statements for 2019 and 2020, family income form, and other information that details the COVID loss.

For information, contact micro@fccdc.org.

{span}Scott Stafford can be reached at {/span}sstafford@berkshireeagle.com{span} or 413-629-4517.{/span}

Scott Stafford has been a reporter, photographer, and editor at a variety of publications, including the Dallas Morning News and The Berkshire Eagle. Scott can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com, or at 413-496-6301 and on Twitter at @BE_SStafford.