The City of Ithaca is expanding its efforts to help businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic downturn, announcing today a new recovery loan fund for "anchor storefronts" in the city, called the Ithaca Anchor Storefront Recovery Loan Fund.

The loans are aimed at businesses that the city considers anchors, "because of the unique service that they provide, because of their longevity, because they draw people to the area, or simply because of the large footprint or critical location," and which carry "particular importance to Ithaca's economic recovery and positive community identity."

"The fund will provide low-cost economic development loans of between $8,000 and $50,000 to key commercial storefront businesses in the City, including restaurants and retail businesses," an announcement from Ithaca's Deputy Director for Economic Development Tom Knipe. The hope is that the loan will help businesses safely and effectively re-open as the process continues. 

The fund is a collaboration between the city's Office of Economic Development, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, the Tompkins Chamber and the Small Business Development Center, as well as help from the Community Foundation which has been providing consultation to private individuals who wish to invest in the fund. Loan recommendations will be made to Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, who will service the loans.

Interested businesses can visit the INHS website to download the full program guidelines and application and access information about how to apply. Eligible businesses are invited to apply by Sept. 2, 2020 to be considered in an initial round of application review.

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