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Imperial County to Forgive $750K in COVID Business Loans

Imperial County officials are looking to forgive about $750,000 in business loans, including 26 businesses each from Calexico and El Centro, and one from Holtville.

The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support staff requests to forgive COVID-19-related relief loans through the Imperial County Business Stabilization Lending Program during its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 26. A resolution to that effect is set to go before the board at a later meeting.

The loans, which started in May 2020, were established at a fixed 2 percent interest rate for two years, according to County Executive Officer Tony Rouhotas Jr. If applicants were able to demonstrate they had employees, they might be eligible for a loan forgiveness.

However, “due to the evident fact that the region’s economic stability will take longer than anticipated due to continued impacts of COVID-19,” Rouhotas recommended the board consider forgiving all 77 loans.

The funds for the loans were derived from solar projects under the Public Benefit Program. Most of the loans were for $10,000, though some were for less.

The loans were approved in two phases, the first in May and the second in September. In the first phase, 47 applicants received a total of $455,000, while in the second phase, 30 applicants received a total of $295,000.

Of the 77 businesses that received loans, 46 were eligible for loan forgiveness. The other 31 businesses were not eligible for loan forgiveness as they were either non-profit organizations that rely on volunteers or sole proprietors with no employees. The board, though, gave direction to forgive all the loans, including those not eligible for forgiveness due to the COVID-19 situation.

Board Thanks Mylo Janitorial, Padre USA

In addition to the COVID-19-related loans, the Board of Supervisors at its Jan. 26 meeting thanked a couple regional businesses for their donation of COVID-related supplies.

The board voted to accept donations from Mylo Janitorial and Padre USA, and board Vice Chairman Jesus Escobar pulled the item for discussion as he said he wanted to make sure to recognize them in public session.

Mylo Janitorial Inc. and Padre USA donated 14,400 bottles of disinfectant to the county.

The companies made the donation in their commitment to the health and safety of their employees, customers, building occupants, and community, according to the letter spelling out the donation. 

“We understand the solemn responsibility we have at this perilous time to ensure essential products including personal protection equipment and disinfectants as well as the professional janitorial and disinfection service that we provide to many essential industries and government agencies in our community,” according to the letter. “As a way to express our gratitude and responsibility as key stakeholders during this pressing moment, Mylo Janitorial and Padre USA will donate one truck load of bottled disinfectants to the County of Imperial.”

The board voted to accept the donation and direct the County Executive Officer to distribute the products.

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