Local car dealerships unite to help small businesses


NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) Seven local car dealerships have donated $35,000 to the COVID-19 Small Business Loan Program organized by Swiss Bear Inc. in partnership with the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce.

The money donated will be used as loans to small business owners who need assistance from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The participating dealerships: Cella Ford, Chevrolet of New Bern, Hyundai of New Bern, Pecheles Honda, Riverside Auto Group, Toyota of New Bern, and Trent Cadillac Buick GMC contributed $5,000 each as a gesture to the small business community.

The idea to help started at the end of April when word spread that very few businesses received assistance from the federal government through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

Applications will be submitted online with the Chamber of Commerce and Swiss Bear overseeing the process to ensure they are complete and within the guidelines associated with the program.

While the loan does have a limit of $10,000 per business depending on their monthly rent or mortgage, it is a zero-interest loan with no payments for the first 12 months.

The loan program should begin before the end of May.

Small businesses can check for program details later this month on the Swiss Bear and New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce websites.

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