Legacy offers forgivable loans for businesses hurt by COVID pandemic

As the country inches to some sense of normalcy, small businesses — especially minority-owned companies — are still struggling to recover from the pandemic’s financial gut punch.

Shutdowns during the early days of the pandemic and keeping pace with public health orders wreaked havoc on mom-and-pop businesses’ bottom line. Even as businesses open up, mask restrictions loosen and more people are vaccinated, cash registers are not ringing as much as some people still fear venturing out into crowded stores.

But financial help is available.

The Legacy Redevelopment Corp, a community development financial institution, has been awarded a $1 million grant from the city of Milwaukee to offer forgivable loans to small and for-profit businesses hurt by the pandemic.  

“There are still small businesses trying to stay afloat,” said Terese Caro, president and CEO of Legacy, which specializes in urban lending to small businesses. “They’re not quite where they were prior to the beginning of 2020. This loan has been put into place to continue to try to assist small businesses.”

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