Longview government long-term business loans are being developed, but there are no applicants | Local Business

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  Longview government long-term business loans are being developed, but there are no applicants |  Local Business

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Executive Director Bill Fashing said his organization and the city of Longview received roughly $540,000 from the federal government at the beginning of 2021 to double the lower interest loans available for Longview businesses who can’t borrow money from a traditional lender.

Longview restaurants facing employee shortages amid the pandemic are offering more money in hourly wages or overtime to keep the doors open an…

Economy rebounds

“Most people we’re talking to don’t want to take out a loan during a pandemic,” he said.

Story Highlights

  • No one has applied to receive local government loans to recover or expand Longview businesses since a federal match doubled the pool to more than $1 million about 10 months ago. 

  • The problem is, no one is applying. Fashing said business lending is down nationwide during the pandemic, not just here at home.

Business borrowers dropped during the pandemic. According to S&P Global, United States banks reported a 4% decline in business lending in the second quarter of 2020, excluding Paycheck Protection Program loans, a potentially forgivable federal loan for businesses to maintain employees amid declining sales during the pandemic. Now, S&P Global reports the economy is rebounding. In May, the financial analytics corporation reported national bankruptcy rates are decreasing since 2020 and businesses are less likely to default on loans. 

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Retail sales also are rising. According to the U.S. Census, in April 2020, just after state shutdowns began in March, monthly retail sales in Washington state dropped roughly 26% from the previous year. In April 2021, sales were about 70% higher than in April 2020.