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Small business loan program coming to Boca Raton

"The biggest thing for us is just putting people back to work."
Posted at 10:41 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 23:53:58-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Thousands of small businesses locally are doing what they can to stay afloat. To make it through the most difficult time many of us have seen.

Now there is a new option is in the works, one that could keep some small businesses afloat in Boca Raton.

"We went to zero, literally went from having a record year to being out of business," Vaughan Dugan said.

Dugan is part-owner of Kapow Noodle Bars. He said they were forced to layoff employees at their two restaurants. He said when Governor DeSantis included Palm Beach County in the Phase One reopening of Florida he was thankful.

"We were obviously really excited, we were relieved," he said.

During their downtime, Dugan said they did get a portion of the Cares Act Paycheck Protection Program money for small businesses. But the need for financial support is not over.

The City of Boca Raton could soon be another outlet for small businesses in need. Tuesday night, the city made progress in framing their own small business loan program.

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"What we talked about tonight was some of the eligibility requirements. Like, in this instance, we've said we want to have small businesses that have the number of employees between 3 and 25," Councilman Andy Thomson said.

They'll set aside $500,000 of city reserve money into the program and cap it around 100 businesses who would then get $5,000 apiece.

Thomson said the city was originally going to roll out the program in late July but the time frame has changed.

"Folks need this money now, they need this relief now. And so now we've scaled it back based on making a couple of tweaks to sometime in the middle of June," he said.

The City of Boca Raton is in the progress of creating an online application. A business must be current on their taxes, hold a business license within city limits and their gross revenue must be less than a million dollars a year.

Dugan said aid would be a huge relief.

"The biggest thing for us is just putting people back to work," he said.