Small Business and Microenterprise Recovery Loan Program

The City of Columbia’s Small Business Recovery Loan Program was formulated as a response to assist small businesses adversely impacted by business interruptions associated with COVID-19.  This program provides a fully forgivable loan for qualified local small businesses with 6 to 49 employees.  This document outlines program guidelines, instructions for submitting an application, information needed and timeline for disbursement.  

Applications for the City of Columbia’s Small Business Recovery Loan Program will be available on October 29, 2020 from 8:00am to 5:00 pm. Interested businesses with 6 to 49 employees may create their log in and password for the Neighborly Portal with the following link: Neighborly Portal

At this time the city is not accepting applications for the Microenterprise Recovery Loan Recovery Program (businesses with 5 or fewer employees).

For assistance with providing technical support to businesses navigating the application process, contact the City of Columbia’s nonprofit community partner, Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) Women’s Business Center, is available.  Contact info can be found on their website.

The Housing Programs Division hosted an informational meeting as an opportunity to learn how to navigate the application process and how to find additional assistance. The recorded meeting can be viewed by visiting the following link: Small Business and Microenterprise Recovery Loan Program Informational Meeting

Program Guidelines

  1. $15,000 will be awarded to qualified businesses to utilize for approved CDBG eligible expenses identified within the application.
  2. Qualified businesses must have more than 5 employees and less than 50 FTE positions. Qualified businesses must be locally owned by a resident of Boone County, Missouri.  For dual or multiple ownership businesses, at least 51% of the business interest must be owned by a local resident(s) of Boone County, MO.
  3. The assistance will be provided in the form of a 0% interest forgivable loan to be forgiven upon meeting all program requirements including documentation of utilizing funds on CDBG eligible expenses and retaining 1 LMI position for a period of 12 months.  If program requirements are not met, the loan will be repaid over a 3 year period beginning 12 months after loan funding.
  4. Qualified businesses must provide most recently due annual tax filing.
  5. Qualified businesses shall agree to the loan assistance amount being secured by a promissory note.
  6. Qualified businesses with ownership or partners currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings are ineligible.
  7. Qualified businesses must provide documentation of a City of Columbia business license and currently operate within the City of Columbia.
  8. Qualified businesses must demonstrate operations of at least 12 months.
  9. Qualified businesses must provide proof of current liability insurance.
  10. Qualified businesses must create or retain 1 Low to Moderate Income (LMI) FTE per $15,000 in assistance for 12 months from the date of completing the agreement for assistance. 
  11. Qualified businesses must designate the specific position identified as LMI and report and provide payroll documentation for 12 months after receiving assistance demonstrating the position has been reserved for and utilized by an LMI household.  If the business has not fulfilled the primary objective of creating or retaining LMI employees in designated positions, the City may require funds be repaid immediately, or require an extension of LMI position reporting requirements for up to an additional 12 months equal to the term of non-compliance.
  12. Qualified businesses must submit a completed Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Recovery worksheet documenting an adverse economic impact and business interruption.
  13. Applications must include the identification of approved CDBG eligible expenses to be utilized for: rent, payroll, inventory, operating expenses and working capital.
  14. Funds will be disbursed upon verification of an eligible application.  A report detailing expenditure of CDBG funds will be required to be submitted within 6 months of initial loan disbursement. 

Timeline for Disbursement

 City staff estimates a 2 week turnaround for disbursement of funds from the time of qualification, depending upon the level of demand and completeness of applications.

Application Instructions

  1. Applications will be accepted directly by the Housing Programs Division via the Neighborly System, 
  2. Applying businesses can meet HUD eligibility criteria by documenting at least 1 LMI position retained.
  3. Upon approval, City staff will provide the business applicant an “approval letter”.
  4. Upon acceptance of the approval letter, City staff will arrange for electronic signature of the City’s approved program participant agreement and promissory note.
  5. Upon the applicant signing the participant agreement, City staff will circulate the document for internal signatures of finance, legal and the City Manager.
  6. Upon completion of obtaining internal City staff signatures, City staff will notify the business of timing for executing disbursement of funds and will arrange for obtaining an original signature by the owner on the promissory note.
  7. After receiving the disbursement of funds, each qualified applicant business will have six months to complete the expenditure of funds.
  8. Upon receiving verification of meeting all program parameters, the loan will be forgiven

Current Income Limits for Households at 80% Area Median Income

  • 1 person   $43,650
  • 2 persons $49,850
  • 3 persons $56,100
  • 4 persons $62,300
  • 5 persons $67,300
  • 6 persons $72,300
  • 7 persons $77,300
  • 8 persons $82,500

Applicant Information Checklist

The following information must be compiled and submitted by each qualified applicant:

  • Business name and Fictitious Name 
    • Registration and Office Lease required
  • Contact info
  • Federal Employer Identification Number
  • DUNS number 
  • Total number of employees
  • If LMI owned, applicant must provide income documentation for all income earning household members including last 2 months pay stubs or previous year household taxes
  • If 51% of employees are LMI, applicant must provide a self-certification form for each LMI employee 
  • Itemize list of expenses funds will be used for: rent, utilities, inventory, payroll and other operating costs.
  • General Liability Insurance and Auto-Insurance
  • Previous year business tax return
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • City of Columbia business license 
  • Previous 3 months company bank statements
  • Completed SBA Economic Injury Worksheetopens PDF file

For more information please contact Darcie Clark at 573-874-7244, darcie.clark@como.govcreate new email

Micro-Enterprise Recovery Loan Program Guidelines and Application Instructionsopens PDF file

Small Business Recovery Loan Program Guidelines and Application Instructionsopens PDF file

Informational Meeting with Downtown CID-April 14, 2020 Slidesopens PDF file