COVID-19 Small Business Loan Program Opens Friday


The application process for New Bern’s COVID-19 Small Business Loan Program will begin on Friday. The program, which was established by Swiss Bear and the New Bern Region Chamber of Commerce, is designed to provide short-term emergency loans to eligible small businesses located within New Bern city limits that have been affected by COVID-19.

Emergency funds can be used for business-related expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, working capital and / or other similar expenses that arise in the ordinary course of business.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, requests will be reviewed to ensure their completeness and proof of need on a first come, first served basis.

The loans will be administered by BEFCOR (Business Expansion Funding Corporation), a certified development company based in North Carolina and an economic development lender. Applicants should be prepared to provide BEFCOR with bank account and routing information.

The application link,, opens at noon on Friday, June 5.

Eligible businesses include:

– For-profit companies

– Located in the city of New Bern (jurisdictional limit)

– Employing at least 1 person

– Legally formed – verified by NC Secretary of State

– Operation (income generating) on ​​March 10, 2020

– Plan to remain open after the end of the pandemic

– Generate sales / income below $ 2 million

Ineligible businesses include:

– Any company that does not meet the eligibility criteria described above

– All Uber / Lyft drivers and other individual transport operations

– Non-profit

– Car dealers

– Property management of companies linked to owners

– Any business requesting a loan on a physical location where the business does not provide goods or services, but only rents the location to a tenant

– Franchises, listed companies or subsidiaries of listed companies

– Home-based businesses

– Vice-companies (vape shops, massage parlors, etc.)

– Common beneficial ownership of 10% or more of multiple business entities disqualifies the second application and all subsequent applications for consideration


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