Downtown Kokomo

The Howard County Courthouse on June 16, 2017.

The city of Kokomo and Howard County’s forgivable loan programs for local businesses will itself be forgiven.

Thanks to reimbursement funding from the CARES Act, the more than $1 million the two governments collectively offered to local businesses has been reimbursed with federal funds.

Both the city of Kokomo and Howard County introduced ordinances at their respective meetings last week, allocating $950,000 and $240,000, respectively, to their respective budgets.

The two governments launched their forgivable loan programs for local businesses in April, just after COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily shuttered businesses deemed “nonessential.”

The programs allowed for approved businesses to collect up to $5,000 to cover rent/mortgage, utilities and other business-related expenses. The loans would be forgiven if the business stayed in Howard County and open for at least year.

In total, the city is eligible for up to $1,877,489 and the county $2,672,264 in reimbursement funding that can be used to refund public safety costs, equipment costs and other expenditures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Commissioner Paul Wyman called the $2.6 million the county received an “incredible blessing” during last’s county council meeting.

“Otherwise, on many of these items we would’ve had to come to the council and ask for an appropriation out of the General Fund to cover some of them,” he said.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich

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