On March 3, the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation voted that city businesses that received COVID-19 emergency loans will not have to repay the money. Loan forgiveness will turn the funds into taxable income for these businesses, said Christian Fletcher, CEO of EDC.
Last year, EDC, which is funded by a half-cent sales tax collected from businesses in Marble Falls, set aside $ 100,000 to fund a loan program for economically struggling local businesses. caused by the pandemic.
Depending on the annual income, businesses located within the corporate town limits of Marble Falls could apply for loans of $ 5,000 or $ 10,000 at a zero percent interest rate for three years. EDC granted $ 75,000 in loans to nine companies; additional mini-grants of $ 7,500 were awarded to 14 companies.
“Our mission is to support the business community, and money is more important to our small businesses right now than it is to EDC,” said Fletcher.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Fletcher informed the board that EDC’s finance committee had advised that the loan be canceled “for various reasons,” including work related to the administration and timing of the loans. . Board members also noted that Governor Gregg Abbott’s recent decision to allow Texas businesses to reopen at 100% capacity will likely increase local business revenues.
“We knew we wanted to help people and we’ve helped a lot of businesses in this community,” said vice chairman of the board, Mark Mayfield. “We didn’t make them comfortable, but we certainly gave them a hand, helping them to do it themselves.”
Teresa Carosella, owner of Custom Creations & Interiors, a full-service window covering showroom located at 513 Main Street, used her $ 10,000 loan from EDC to keep her staff on duty.
“When all of this happened, none of us knew what would happen next,” Carosella said. “These funds have given us a stable foundation on which to work until we can reopen. “
Now that the loan has been canceled, Carosella has said she intends to “pay it off ahead” by donating some of the remaining funds to local charities.
Dennis Reed, who owns five Subway franchises in the Highland Lakes, said EDC’s loan has helped him stay afloat during the height of the pandemic.
“When COVID affected, we were just starting to come out of our annual downturn months, ”Reed said.
Now considered taxable income, Reed said he would continue to benefit from it.
“We lost so much last year that any reported income is healthy this year,” he said.