Small businesses making payments on city-backed loans

Columbus small businesses that received low-interest loans from a city-funded program designed to help keep companies afloat during the pandemic have started paying back what they borrowed.

The program, called Columbus INvigorate, lent about $874,000 to 48 small businesses within the Columbus city limits last year. The three-year loans ranged from $5,000 to $25,000 and had a six-month deferral of interest. The interest rate after the six-month deferral is 1%.

As of Friday, the loan recipients had collectively paid back $176,810, said Eric Frey, executive director of Administrative Resources association, a nonprofit governmental association that is administering the program. That amounts to about 20% of what was borrowed.

Additionally, four companies — Lockett’s, Yo Mama Frozen Yogurt and More, Dell Brothers and Columbus Rock Gym — have completely paid off their loans, which totaled $90,000. Locketts and Yo Mama subsequently…

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