Burlington encourages small businesses to seek federal loans

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The city of Burlington is encouraging small businesses to apply for help through the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.

It's for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees and provides zero-fee loans of an amount equivalent to up to eight weeks of average payroll and expenses, and the principal and interest are deferred for a year. The loans can be forgiven if businesses retain those employees and salary levels.

"In this case, you have so many businesses under 500 employees that have been hit by this financial crisis that they're concerned about the program being oversubscribed," said Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington.

Businesses can apply directly through their local lender. Nonprofits can also apply as long as they're a 501(c)(3) organization.