Small business owners in DeKalb County will have the opportunity to apply for up to $40,000 in COVID-19 relief loans from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved the DeKalb Better Business Loan Program on Aug. 11, which allows for $15 million of the county’s money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to be used for business loans, according to a press release.

“We are fighting a pandemic that undermines the health and economic well-being of our county,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said in a press release. “Small businesses have been hit hard and are critical to DeKalb’s economic growth and prosperity.”

The county will partner with Citizens Trust Bank to administer $10 million of the loans, according to the press release. County spokesperson Quinn Hudson said the county was working to find another bank with which to partner.

The county will target businesses with a gross annual revenue less than $1 million and 20 or fewer employees that have been operating for at least a year before June 1, 2020, Hudson said. It will also prioritize businesses that did not receive federal Payroll Protection Program funds.

The loan program also includes technical support to help sustain small businesses,such as access to business organizations and advocacy groups, according to the press release. More information will be available here.

The loans can be used for payroll; state unemployment and local taxes; employee benefits; business mortgage interest; business property rent; commercial property utilities; and interest on other business debt, according to the release.

The county received $125.3 million in total from the CARES Act, according to the county website, and will distribute $32.5 million to its 12 cities.

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