Additional federal funding allows LAMBAC to help local businesses during COVID-19

GORE BAY – LAMBAC has received additional funds to help support local businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We received an additional $626,000 in extra money that will be used to assist businesses who are suffering hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Mike Addison, general manager of LAMBAC, last Friday. He pointed out the funds are administered by FedNor.

Mr. Addison explained previously this year, LAMBAC had received $1.6 million, and then an additional $80,000 to support businesses in the first round of funding. This allowed them to, based on an average of $40,000 received by businesses for loans, help provide financial support to 42 businesses.

LAMBAC serves the area of Highway 17 from Walford to Nairn Centre, Espanola, Manitoulin Island, to Killarney.

Mr. Addison noted that businesses can, and in some cases have, taken loans from LAMBAC of less than the maximum of $40,000. With the additional funding LAMBAC has received, if all businesses who are selected apply for a loan of $40,000, it will support 15 businesses. “If some of the businesses request and receive say $20,000 it means we are able to support additional businesses.” 

“We already have more requests for help from businesses than money that has been provided to us,” said Mr. Addison. “The program has been really good and we have been able to help out a lot of businesses.”

“Some businesses have told us they needed a little help, and some have said without this financial help they would not been able to make it,” said Mr. Addison. “It feels good to be able to help the businesses out in this way.”

Mr. Addison said LAMBAC has a list of businesses that have applied for a loan from LAMBAC. However, other business can apply for funding by filling out an application to LAMBAC. Under this loan program, if the business that has applied for and received funds, “if they pay back the loan on time they are eligible for 25 percent of the loan being forgivable. With this program and the women’s program as well as regular funding, it is going to be a huge year for us, and we are not done yet.” 

Mr. Addison said for those businesses that have not yet applied for loans from LAMBAC, it should be kept in mind the federal government announced additional funding is coming as well sometime in 2021. 

“As soon as we receive the money from FedNor, we get the money out the door as soon as possible. With the federal government announcement, we could potentially have additional top-up funding available in the new year,” said Mr. Addison.