A Dubuque nonprofit is changing the parameters of its $2 million emergency loan program for businesses located in the city.

Amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubuque Initiatives in April agreed to distribute “bridge financing” of up to $10,000 per business for Dubuque companies that employ 50 or fewer workers.

The program now has changed to allow for short-term, low-interest loans of up to $10,000. There will be no interest or fees for the first six months, then it will be converted to a 30-month, 1% interest loan, according to a press release. 

"Other changes to the program include the ability for sole proprietors and independent contractors to apply, as well as locally-owned franchisees," the release states. 

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Qualifying businesses must have a physical location or storefront in Dubuque, have fewer than 51 employees, have experienced a loss of income due to the pandemic and have applied for state or federal assistance. 

Not eligible are nonprofits, frachiser-owned franchises and chains, the release states. 

To apply, call  the COVID-19 helpline at 563-588-3350 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or email sbhelpline@nicc.edu.