HENDERSON — The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ Open for Business Loan Program helps finance existing local small to medium size businesses throughout a five-county region recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Eligible businesses should be small- to medium-size (one to 99 employees) existing businesses that have been in business for at least 12 months, and must be in Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance or Warren counties.

Business owners may apply for a 5-10 year, interest-free loan ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. All loans will require a personal guarantee and some additional collateral. There has been one major change in the loan qualifications this year, which is that you are no longer required to demonstrate a loss of revenue as a result of the pandemic.

Funds may be used for working capital, inventory or equipment, and require an application fee of $200. Standard loan terms are 10 years on equipment and five years on working capital. Flexibility in payback period will be considered if requested and approved by the Council of Governments board. Years of business operation and proximity to downtown areas receive weighted preferences for loan approval.

Applicants have to provide 2019 and 2020 tax returns, a year to date balance sheet and profit/loss statement, balance sheets and profit/loss statements for the past two years, their registration with the state of North Carolina, a photo ID and proof of insurance.

More information and application materials are available at https://www.kerrtarcog.org/revolving-loan-program. For more information, contact Diane Cox, director of the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, at 252-436-2040.