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SBA launches loan program to help struggling businesses

June 6, 2009
By WAYNE SHEETS, Contributing Business Writer

Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills announced on May 18 that businesses suffering financial hardship because of the slow economy might be eligible to receive temporary relief to keep their doors open and get their cash flow back on track through a new loan program.

Beginning on June 15, SBA will guarantee America's Recovery Capital (ARC) loans. ARC loans are deferred-payment loans of up to $35,000 available to established, viable, for-profit small businesses that need short-term help to make their principal and interest payments on existing qualifying debt. ARC loans are interest-free to the borrower, 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA, and have no SBA fees associated with them.

"These ARC loans can provide the critical capital and support many small businesses need to make it through these tough economic times," Mills said. "Together with other provisions of the Recovery Act, ARC loans will free up capital and put more money in the hands of small business owners when they need it the most. This will help viable small businesses continue to grow and thrive and create new jobs in communities across the country."

As part of the Recovery Act, the ARC program was created as a no-interest, deferred payment loan to help small businesses that have a history of good performance, but because of the tough economy, are struggling to make debt payments. Commercial lenders, not the SBA, will make ARC loans directly.

ARC loans will be disbursed within a period of up to six months and will provide funds to be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debt including mortgages, term and revolving lines of credit, capital leases, credit card obligations and notes payable to vendors, suppliers and utilities.

Repayment will not begin until 12 months after the final disbursement. Borrowers do not have to pay interest. After the 12-moth deferral, borrowers will pay back the loan principal over a period of five years.

An announcement was made at Tuesday's Downtown Elkins Promotional Committee Meeting that the SBA will be holding workshops during the week of June 22 to brief business owners on the program.

For more information, visit or call David H. Hall at 202-205-6697.


The Randolph County Humane Society is sponsoring a "Walk and Wag" dog walk and pet festival on June 14 at Riverbend Park. Registration begins at noon and the walk begins at 1 p.m., rain or shine.

The fundraising festival will benefit the thousands of dogs and cats cared for by the RCHS. Owners and pets may walk as much or as little as they wish. It is not a race, but rather a chance for pet owners to exercise themselves and their pets and socialize with other people - and pets. Participants raise money through sponsorships. Donations are tax deductible.

Prizes will be awarded in many areas including best walking dog, best behaved dog, waggiest tail, most obedient, biggest smile, biggest mouth (bark), highest and lowest number on rabies tag, silliest pet trick, best beggar, best dressed, best owner-pet bond, a secret category and for the pet owners, the most money raised.

To participate, all dogs must wear a suitable collar and leash, dogs must be friendly toward other people and pets, no female dogs in estrogen will be permitted and all required vaccinations must be current.

There is no participation fee and those who raise $50 or more will receive a complimentary T-shirt.

For more information, call the RCHS at 304-636-7844 or e-mail at

The RCHS wishes to thank its sponsors, The Animal Care Center, Hazelwood Animal Clinic, Beverly Pike Veterinary Clinic, All Creatures Great & Small Veterinary Clinic, Yorkie and Associates, Elkins Cinema 7, Greenfield Cabinetry, WDNE, WETV, The Inter-Mountain, United Way of Randolph County, Armstrong World Industries, Big Lots, PetSmart Charities and Wal-Mart.

Dave Denton has announced that he will close his business office at 212 John St. effective June 14. "I've decided to experiment with providing my clients with massage service exclusively in their homes," he said. "Next year I'll look at how it went, and go from there."

He also noted that any gift certificates or coupons still held by customers would continue to be valid.

Denton's fees effective June 15 to Jan. 1, 2010, for in-home message therapy will be $33 for a 30-minute seated/chair massage, and $49 for a three-quarter hour Swedish table massage. "There will be no extra charge for house calls unless the travel and weather conditions are especially difficult," he said.

According to a Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad newsletter, the company is planning to augment its existing schedule in June by inaugurating passenger train service from Elkins to Beverly. This trip is being co-sponsored by the Historic Beverly Foundation and will include a layover in Beverly where guides dressed in period costumes will direct train passengers to various historic points of interest. The new Beverly service will be operating on Sundays once every month during the summer and more frequently during the fall season utilizing the same dining and passenger cars and diesel locomotive that goes to Cheat Bridge and Spruce commonly known as the Cheat Mountain Salamander.

The remainder of the schedule for 2009, sources said, will be similar to 2008 except for earlier departure times from Elkins. This is necessary to allow more time for group tours to make the various connections.

For more information, call 304-636-9477 or 1-877-MTN-RAIL (1-877-686-7245) or visit

Mayor Duke Talbott revealed an interesting fact at Tuesday's Downtown Elkins Promotional Committee meeting regarding the enforcement of the reduced speed limit on Railroad Avenue. He reported that many of those stopped for speeding have also been cited for driving under the influence. A word to the wise: slow down and always have a designated driver - don't drink and drive. The mayor also noted that the new traffic lights should be fully operational by mid-June.

Last week I promised that I would forthwith and forevermore refer to the group that meets at Ceramics with Class bi-monthly to discuss a never-ending list of subjects relevant to the city's future and welfare by its official name, "The Downtown Elkins Promotional Committee." Pardon my human frailties, but I must renege on that promise for a couple of reasons. First, the name is stiff and much too formal, and secondly, I can save three words of space by using "Downtown Merchants." While the official title is as it is, I will be referring to the group as "The Downtown Merchants" as before. Besides, Ed Griesel still refers to it that way, so why shouldn't I?



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