Montpelier, VT- Governor Phil Scott announced a new short-term, forgivable loan program to support Vermont businesses struggling with the long-lasting effects of the pandemic.

The program makes $19 million dollars of Vermont’s $2.7 billion dollar America Rescue Plan Act funds available for business in the form of short-term, forgivable loans.

Governor Scott said, “Supporting businesses in every region of the state to recover and rebuild remains a top priority of my administration, and that’s why we worked to secure this funding from the Legislature.”

A press release about the program said, “applicants must demonstrate a reduction in adjusted net operating income of at least 22.5% in 2020 and 2021 as compared to 2019, including any funding from prior programs that were not enough to weather the ongoing economic challenges.”

These applicants are eligible for a loan of up to $350,000.

The loan can be spent on any operating costs, but not on capital investments such as buying or expanding property. As long as the money is spent on operating costs like payroll, rent, or utilities, the borrower has one year to apply for full forgiveness.

Borrowers in industries that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, like restaurants and tourism, will be prioritized for the loans, and business owners who identify as BIPOC will be prioritized regardless of what industry they’re in.

The Vermont Economic Development Authority is overseeing the program along with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and they will be hosting a virtual information session at 2 p.m. this coming Monday which you can register for on their website.