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Gettysburg Borough Moves Forward On Emergency Restaurant Zero-Interest Loan Program

“With the changes we’ve seen, it occurred to me we could use some money from our revolving loan fund to keep some of our restaurants open,” said borough council vice president Wes Heyser as he proposed a new zero-interest program from Gettysburg Borough to help local restaurants.

Heyser said restaurants are suffering due to a recent ban on indoor dining.

The borough approved moving forward with the proposal on a unanimous vote.

Funds for the loans would come from about $300,000 that is available in the long-term historic revitalization fund. The program would mirror the prior zero-interest loan program the borough offered earlier in the year.  Loans would be capped at $50,000, and will have a five-year term.  No payments will be required during the first two years.

Applications will be accepted from non-franchised restaurants that have been operating at least four years in the borough. The applicant must have offered dine-in service during the second quarter of 2019, show a minimum of 50 percent loss from the second quarter 2019 to the second quarter 2020, and must have employed at least 15 people during 2019.

Applicants must not have delinquent taxes.

Heyser said there was a risk that restaurants would not be able to pay the money back. “If we don’t take a risk with this funding it’s not going to help anyone,” he said. “We’ll try to bridge people if we can.”

The borough will also reserve two parking spaces for food pickup in front of restaurants as long as dining in is prohibited.

Heyser said he did not think the program would be able to help a lot of restaurants, but that if even one or two were helped it would be useful.

Heyser said businesses are encouraged to reach out the borough and other organizations such as Main Street Gettysburg for further help and information.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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