Burlington County Continues to Offer Zero Rate HELP Loans to Small Businesses Affected by Pandemic

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On June 29, Deputy Director of the Burlington County Commissioners Council Dan O’Connell, left, presented a check for $ 45,000 to Wayne Trojanowski, owner of Hainesport-based South Jersey Lawns, the latest company to receive county assistance. PHOTO COURTESY OF BURLINGTON COUNTY

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On June 29, Deputy Director of the Burlington County Commissioners Council Dan O’Connell, left, presented a check for $ 45,000 to Wayne Trojanowski, owner of Hainesport-based South Jersey Lawns, the latest company to receive county assistance. PHOTO COURTESY OF BURLINGTON COUNTY

The Burlington County Council of Commissioners is reminding small business owners and local nonprofits that zero-interest loans are still available to help them recover from the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has produced widespread and devastating impacts unlike most of us have ever experienced,” Commissioner Deputy Director Dan O’Connell said in a prepared statement. “We have made great strides since last year, but we know that many small businesses and nonprofits are still struggling due to the fallout from the virus. We continue to provide interest-free loans to help these employers recover and grow again.

Burlington County offers interest-free loans through its Emergency Health Loan (HELP) program. The program was created in 2020 in response to the pandemic and the economic fallout created by the crisis and offers up to $ 50,000 in loans to eligible small businesses that have experienced difficulties related to the pandemic, the statement said.

The loans are funded from $ 660,000 of federal CARES Act funding guaranteed by the Economic Development Office of the Burlington County Bridge Commission.

The Bridge Commission is also responsible for administering the program.

Loans can be used for business related purchases, payroll, or other expenses or improvements. There are no closing costs, but sufficient collateral in personal or business property is needed to secure the loan, the statement said.

Five Burlington County businesses have received loans under the program to date and additional funds remain available.

On June 29, O’Connell presented a check for $ 45,000 to Wayne Trojanowski, owner of Hainesport-based South Jersey Lawns, the last company to receive assistance from the county.

The company has been operating in Burlington County for 16 years, and Trojanowski has lived there for 39 years.

“In 2020, like many small businesses, I took a hit and found myself in a hole that I apparently couldn’t get out of. I found myself contemplating the future and sustainability of my business, ”Trojanowski said in the statement. “With federal funds being absorbed into big business, small businesses like mine ended up with an inbox full of ‘I’m sorry but you don’t qualify’ emails. I had to borrow on high interest credit cards which may have helped me now, but eventually would have taken me down as the interest on the debt would become overwhelming.

He heard about the HELP loan program from a friend, the statement said, and was guided through the application process by Liz Verna, the county’s director of economic development.

“As a business owner who has faced the most difficult year of my life, as a husband and father whose family’s future rests on my shoulders, I cannot express how much I am grateful to (Verna) and everyone who helped set up this program in Burlington County. “Trojanowski said in the statement.” This HELP loan will secure my business for years to come. For my part, I am proud to be a resident and business owner in Burlington County and hope for it. stay for many years.

On June 29, Trojanowski said business was resuming and the HELP loan would provide it with the working capital to purchase equipment and supplies to continue its operations, the statement said.

He also encouraged more businesses to view the program, the statement said.

Additional details about the program and an online application are available at www.bcbridges.org/covid19-resources/

In addition to HELP loans, Burlington County also offers zero-interest loans for businesses along the Highway 130 corridor and low-interest standby loans for others throughout the county.

The county also just wrapped up its second Restaurant Week promotion with a record 45 restaurants and participating restaurants.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy of our county and our communities, so we must do everything we can to help them bounce back from a difficult 2020,” O’Connell said in the statement. “HELP Loans are a way for our county to help them, and we are grateful for the work of Liz Verna and the Bridge Commission in securing the funding and administering this program. Restaurant Week and our Shop Burlington County First initiative is another way we try to help. It is especially important at times like these for all of us to come together and support these endeavors. “

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