The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has commissioned the Sorenson Impact Center to provide the first of two reports on the impacts of its Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program.

The Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program was deployed to provide gap funding to Utah’s small businesses and nonprofit organizations during the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. GOED administered the bridge loans in two rounds. The first round was for small businesses. The second round also included funding for nonprofits. 

A total of $12 million was awarded to 1,150 Utah based small businesses and nonprofit organizations, which included $11 million in CARES Act funds and $1 million contributed by the WCF Insurance Foundation. Loan amounts ranged from $5,000 to $20,000 and were offered at zero percent interest for up to 60 months. Loans were for businesses and nonprofits and could not exceed three months of demonstrated operating expenses. Loan payments are deferred for 12 months.

“By rapidly mobilizing to provide access to flexible capital, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development offered a lifeline to small businesses seeking to protect their employees and keep afloat,” said Grant Baskerville, manager at the Sorenson Impact Center. “Through the hard work and dedication of the GOED team, they exceeded their target of delivering 25 percent of loans to rural businesses.”

In total, 2,046 small businesses and nonprofits applied for the program, and 56 percent (1,150) obtained a loan. Almost every small business or nonprofit that qualified for the program was able to receive a loan.

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