Lewis & Clark Development Group new loan program for struggling businesses

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 7:32 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Entrepreneurs took a hit to the wallet thanks to the pandemic. North Dakota small business owners now have access to funds that might help them deal with the financial impacts of COVID-19.

As part of the CARES Act the federal Economic Development Agency has awarded more than 1.1 million dollars to Lewis & Clark Regional Development Council.

The money is set in the Revolving Loan Fund and is meant to help small businesses pull through during this difficult time. Small businesses have been turning to Lewis & Clark Development Group for help over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve really been in a position to help businesses as they get into whether it’s financial trouble or whether--in this case-- with COVID and being forced to shut down,” said Executive Director Brent Ekstrom.

Now, Lewis & Clark has more funds available to loan to small businesses who have suffered from financial losses, like Lady J’s Catering & Decor.

General Manager Travis Zachmann says with events being canceled, business has been hard to come by. “Some of our normal employees have had to get a third or even a fourth job.

We definitely have had way less revenue than last year,” Zachmann said.

Lady J’s has taken advantage of small business loans and says something like the new Revolving Loan offered by Lewis & Clark would be extremely helpful.

“A lot of the typical lending criteria cannot be met with traditional lending practices. And that’s what-- with Lewis & Clark, with the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund-- we want to alleviate that,” said Lewis & Clark Commercial Lending Director Matt Burthold.

Matt Burthold says the loan criteria is a bit easier to meet than a traditional loan and has longer repayment terms. “Cash is king for a business. Without cash, you can’t operate.

With Lewis and Clark’s programs, we can provide them that cash which may not have been available otherwise through conventional methods,” Burthold said.

Burthold says if your business doesn’t qualify for Revolving Loan funding, they will do their best to help find a program that can help.

To apply for the Revolving Loan Fund, call Lewis and Clark Development group at (701) 667-7600.

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