Kewaunee County is giving small businesses that have borrowed from the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) an optional extension before they must reinstate payments, in what county officials say is an effort to focus on recovery from COVID-19 closures.

The county Finance Committee has agreed to allow deferral of all principal and interest payments through Sept. 30, a four-month extension. The original Emergency Order signed on March 30 had allowed for deferral for April and May.

“We need to rebound together and a small gesture can go a long way. It is important that we give these businesses a chance to recover verses them having to make the tough decision of closing,” County Administrator Scott Feldtsaid. “Kewaunee County is open, and we hope that all of our businesses can come back stronger than before the impact of COVID-19.”

During the extended deferral period, interest will continue to accrue at the rate provided in the Promissory Note to borrowers, who still have the option to make payments.

The purpose of the Revolving Loan Fund has been to provide gap financing for development and expansion of small businesses with a self-replenishing pool of money, utilizing payments on old loans to issue new ones. It is not an emergency loan fund.

Currently, nine small businesses in Kewaunee County are working with loans amounting to $425,000 owed to the county. All borrowers have been notified of the Emergency Order extension to defer payments.