This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DECATUR, Ala. — Small businesses in Decatur will soon be able to apply for a grant to assist them with the impacts of COVID-19.

The program covers small businesses, including restaurants, coffee shops, health clubs, and hotels, that have been in business at least one year prior to March 13, 2020 and have less than 25 employees.

Prospective small business owners who want to apply for the grant will be eligible to receive a zero-interest loan of up to $20,000 with the potential for forgiveness in 12 months. The funds can be used for administrative costs like utilities, rent, mortgage payments, and payroll.

Small businesses may begin applying on Monday, August 2.

A total of $353,000 has been made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“We are so thankful for our small businesses who do so much for our city – from sponsoring Little League games to having those special gifts in stock that you just can’t find or order anywhere else,” said Susanne Taylor, the city’s grant administrator.

“COVID has made life so unpredictable, and we want to ensure that our local business community can easily apply for assistance,” Taylor continued.

The initiative is a partnership between the City of Decatur, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, and the Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center.

Small businesses may apply for assistance online or pick up a packet at Decatur City Hall or Chamber of Commerce. Applications must be received by September 30.

For more information, contact the city’s Community Development Department at 256-341-4967.