Maine banks, credit unions brace for people looking for loan assistance

Jeannie Dunnigan is on her roller skates delivering an order curbside at her Cia Cafe location in South Portland. Business is down 80% and Dunnigan has had to lay off most of her staff at her South Portland and Saco locations. She and her husband are taking advantage of the federal loans available for small businesses. “Basically, we’re waiting on the disaster relief fund and PPP,” Dunnigan said. PPP is the Paycheck Protection Program offered through the Small Business Administration, which allows business owners to borrow now to bridge the financial gap and get the business back up and running. “The goal is to try and get our company back to where it was and try and get the employees back here,” Dunnigan said. “But what we need in order to do that are customers.” Maine banks and credit unions are being inundated by phone calls from regular people who need help too – not just business owners. And now you’re hearing about low-interest loans.The Crisis Assistance Relief Loan allows you to borrow up to $10,000 at an interest rate of 2.99% spread out over three years. You have 90 days before you have to start paying it. “We lovingly refer to it as CARL for short,” Jon Paraside said. Paradise is the vice president of public relations for Town and Country Federal Credit Union. “We’re offering loan payment deferrals up to 90-days, in some cases more,” Paradise said. “We’re finding people re-financing, consolidating – anything that can help lift the burden in the short-term.”Paradise said the best thing to do is have a conversation with your local lender. There are many programs that could help relieve financial stress that many people are feeling right now. Dunnigan will be happy and stress-free once she’s able to roller skate around her customers who are once again sitting outside her coffee shop.”I’m really shooting for May,” Dunnigan said. “I’m hoping things are going to look a little bit brighter in May.”

Jeannie Dunnigan is on her roller skates delivering an order curbside at her Cia Cafe location in South Portland.

Business is down 80% and Dunnigan has had to lay off most of her staff at her South Portland and Saco locations. She and her husband are taking advantage of the federal loans available for small businesses.

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“Basically, we’re waiting on the disaster relief fund and PPP,” Dunnigan said.

PPP is the Paycheck Protection Program offered through the Small Business Administration, which allows business owners to borrow now to bridge the financial gap and get the business back up and running.

“The goal is to try and get our company back to where it was and try and get the employees back here,” Dunnigan said. “But what we need in order to do that are customers.”

Maine banks and credit unions are being inundated by phone calls from regular people who need help too – not just business owners. And now you’re hearing about low-interest loans.

The Crisis Assistance Relief Loan allows you to borrow up to $10,000 at an interest rate of 2.99% spread out over three years. You have 90 days before you have to start paying it.

“We lovingly refer to it as CARL for short,” Jon Paraside said. Paradise is the vice president of public relations for Town and Country Federal Credit Union.

“We’re offering loan payment deferrals up to 90-days, in some cases more,” Paradise said. “We’re finding people re-financing, consolidating – anything that can help lift the burden in the short-term.”

Paradise said the best thing to do is have a conversation with your local lender. There are many programs that could help relieve financial stress that many people are feeling right now.

Dunnigan will be happy and stress-free once she’s able to roller skate around her customers who are once again sitting outside her coffee shop.

“I’m really shooting for May,” Dunnigan said. “I’m hoping things are going to look a little bit brighter in May.”