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New Loan Program to Assist Small Business Owners – Local Car Dealerships Band Together to Help the Effort

New Bern Car Dealerships
L – R: Mark Genereux (Chevrolet of New Bern), Grant Loftin (Hyundai of New Bern), Adin Colón (Toyota of New Bern), Pete Deichmann, Mike Deichmann (Trent Cadillac Buick GMC), Lynne Harakal (Swiss Bear), Paul Hewson (Trent Cadillac Buick GMC), Jason Tomchesson (Cella Ford), Manny Kahsai (Trent Cadillac Buick GMC), Steve Cella (Cella Ford), Jeff Mooring (Riverside Auto Group), Henry Gouty (Hyundai of New Bern) and Dustin Tyson (Riverside Auto Group), Not pictured: Brian Pecheles (Pecheles Honda) (Photo by: Bear City Impact)

New Bern, NC – Swiss Bear Inc. is happy to announce a COVID-19 Small Business Loan Program in partnership with The New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce. The loans from this initiative will assist local businesses with the financial strains of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

The fund has already accumulated over $100,000 with funding from the City of New Bern, Craven 100 Alliance, Wells Fargo and local car dealerships. Seven dealerships including Cella Ford, Chevrolet of New Bern, Hyundai of New Bern, Pecheles Honda, Riverside Auto Group, Toyota of New Bern and Trent Cadillac Buick GMC banded together to contribute $35,000 toward the effort.

One dealership owner said, “This group’s donation is a testament to the New Bern dealership community. While we may be in competition in business, we will always come together when someone is in need. This is personal to us; these small businesses are the heartbeat of our community. We’re not going to stand around and let them drown/suffer.”

Applications will be submitted online with the Chamber of Commerce and Swiss Bear overseeing the process to ensure they are complete and that applicants are within the guidelines associated with the program. Loans will be based on two-month’s rent or mortgage payment of the business, with a maximum loan amount of $10,000. Loans will be zero-interest with no payments for the first 12 months, and twelve equal principal payments in year two. Loan administration fees will not be paid by applicants. Each loan will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to small business applicants located within New Bern city limits.

Swiss Bear Board Chairman, Chris McCutcheon says “I am thrilled with the work being done with this program. We knew we needed to do something for our small business owners, and this is a great way to help get them back on their feet.”

Further funding efforts for the loan program are being made. Swiss Bear hopes to launch the loan program before the end of May. Additional details will be forthcoming.

Submitted by: Taylor Shannon on behalf of Lynne Harakal, Executive Director, Swiss Bear, Inc.