The Poway City Council will consider the approval of an emergency loan program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at a special meeting on Thursday, April 16 at 4:30 p.m. The Poway Emergency Assistance Recovery Loan (PEARL) program was proposed by Mayor Steve Vaus at the April 7 council meeting to offer financial assistance to small businesses located in Poway by complementing existing state and federal loan programs and to provide a financial bridge to survive the current emergency.

The proposed program commits up to $2 million from the city’s general fund extreme events/public safety reserves to provide loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. Businesses must be independently owned and operated in the City of Poway, with no more than 50 full-time employees at the time the city declared an emergency on March 18. Loan funds could be used to cover payroll, lease or mortgage payments, utilities and accounts payable.

Although city offices remain closed to the public, the special meeting can be accessed for both viewing and participating. For viewing only, use the city’s live stream feed. The city also offers an option for calling in to speak on the agenda item.

Information about the application process will be posted on the city’s website on Friday, April 17. The city anticipates opening the application process on Thursday, April 23.