The Board of Directors of Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) voted to extend a rate-reduction measure, which was originally set to expire at the end of May. The reduction of the power supply adjustment by one-half will result in an approximate 15% reduction in electric costs for customers.
The City of College Station and the Bryan Business Council (BBC) have partnered with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments to create a Bridge Loan Program to assist small businesses that have seen a substantial reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Small businesses need short-term working capital to cover essential expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities. Bridge loans help businesses pay those costs until they receive more permanent assistance, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
Bridge loans of up to $25,000 are available to qualifying businesses, which must repay the loan after receiving an EIDL. The loans have a maturity of three years at an interest rate of about 3%. No payment is required for up to 6 months.
Under the funding agreement, the City of College Station and the BBC each contributed $250,000 from their economic development funds. The Brazos Valley Council of Governments administers the loans at no charge, and the Brazos Valley Small Business Development Center serves in an advisory role. The BVCOG processes the loans through its existing loan review committee, along with representatives from the cities.
In addition to the 15% reduction in revenue, reviewers consider a business’s profitability before the outbreak, its most recent tax return, personal financial statements for anyone with an ownership higher than 20%, credit score, and other loans and grants for which the business has applied or received.
“We realize the importance of a healthy economy for our residents,” College Station Mayor Karl Mooney said. “For that reason, we established the Bridge Loan Program — not as a hand-out, but a hand up. As our community looks toward putting the coronavirus pandemic in our rearview mirror, we want to do what we can to help our residents and businesses return to being vibrant and nurturing of each other.”
“As the President of the BBC, I am pleased to announce our partnership with the City of College Station and the Brazos Valley Council of Governments,” said Dr. Samuel H. Harrison, president of the BBC. “We strongly believe that supporting business in Bryan is our core mission. We believe the BBC Emergency Small Business Gap Financing Loan program will play an integral part in the recovery process. The BBC met today and unanimously approved the loan agreement. I would like to personally thank all those BBC members and staff who were instrumental in its passage.”
How to Apply
Applications will be accepted starting Monday, April 27. To apply, email a copy of the business’s SBA loan application and supporting documents to Madison Thomas of the BVCOG at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, go to the BVCOG’s website or call 979.595.2801.