City Council Passes Bill Allocating Funds for Affordable Housing, Homeless Services, Business Loans

Springfield City Council approved a bill that allocates just over $916,000 in special COVID-19 related Community Development Block Grant funds.

The funds will be distributed in the following manner:

  • $383,000 for affordable housing assistance, which includes rent assistance, resulting from $183,000 in CDBG COVID-19 funds and $200,000 in HOME Grant funds that the City already had;
  • $330,038 for services for the homeless, public services and homeless prevention;
  • $403,100 for forgivable economic recovery business loans.

“We understand there are folks who needed this money in the form of rent assistance or affordable housing months ago,” Director of Planning & Development Mary Lilly Smith said in a statement. “It’s our intention to get these funds out the door as soon as possible.”

The funds for homeless services and housing assistance will work through established partnerships, such as with OACAC, Salvation Army, Community Partnership of teh Ozarks, and more.

The forgivable business loans can be applied for through the Economic Development Office. An application packet can be downloaded from the city and returned electronically to the Cheri Hagler at the EDO.

The loans are up to $10,000. Businesses eligible for the loans are required to:

  • Have a physical location within the city limits of Springfield;
  • Be a for-profit business;
  • Have been in operation at least one year;
  • Have a valid Social Security number or Employer Identification Number;
  • Not be in bankruptcy;
  • Be able to provide current insurance information;
  • Be current with business property taxes and City fees;
  • Be current on terms of any existing City of Springfield loan;
  • Not have a conflict of interest with the City (i.e., employee of the City or member of City Council may not have a direct or indirect personal or financial interest in the business).

“Local business owners have been so innovative trying to stay afloat during the shutdown period caused by COVID-19, but for many businesses, there is no way to replace the income that was lost during that time,” Economic Development Director Sarah Kerner said in a statement. “By offering these forgivable loans, we hope to shore up Springfield’s small businesses and maintain as many jobs as possible for years to come.”

The loans will be fully forgiven if:

  • Business remains open for one year from loan approval;
  • Business retains and documents the required number of low/moderate income (earning 80% or less of annual median income). For a family of four, a person qualifies as low/moderate if their household income is $50,300 or less) full-time employee(s) or full-time equivalent employee(s);
  • If the business has no employees, the owner must be able to document that they are low/moderate owner.

Failure to meet the requirements will mean the business or business owner will repay the loans within 24 months of the initial one-year period at 2.5 percent interest.

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