"We're working with bankers, a coalition of banks, on a
State and local officials in
The mayor said some of the loans may be "bridge loans" to keep businesses afloat until they can open, while others may provide capital to allow businesses to make repairs so they may resume full operations.
"We should absolutely be making that loan. It should be eight-month, no interest," Rivera said.
Baker said the loans would be short-term and would be given with the understanding that they will be repaid when businesses are reimbursed by
"We're just trying to figure out if there's a way to create what I would describe as sort of a short-term loan program that would work to provide sort of support for a lot of the businesses that have been impacted by this for some period of time," Baker said. "We're trying to figure out what the model would be and how it would work, how it would be funded, and then there are some legal issues associated with that as well."
Rivera said Baker and Ash have been speaking to the "lending community" to speed up the process.
"We know the bureaucracies, left to their own devices, would think about it for months. We don't have months. People are losing jobs, losing product, losing customers every day," Rivera said.
Noting the businesses that operate month-to-month, Rivera said, "if they don't make the money, the revenue, they're supposed to make in a month's time, they can be underwater fast."
Baker said that businesses should expect to be reimbursed if they choose to convert some of their systems from gas to electric, either temporarily or permanently. He said that at each of the discussions he has had with local business owners -- in
"This is about as big an inconvenience as you can possibly imagine for small businesses that in many cases run week-to-week and month-to-month," Baker said. "They work because they're open, they hustle, they have customer loyalty, but over the course of the next several weeks there's going to be anxiety about whether those customers are going to be there and I completely understand that."
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