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Important Message from the Chamber President

Posted in: Chamber News

To All Businesses in Columbia County:

We are in this together and together we will overcome. We remain Columbia County Strong and your Chamber continues to be here to support you. We have some information below that we would like to share with you. After reviewing the information we would like to ask you to complete a brief 5 question survey that will guide us in seeking information to answer you specific needs. Please click on the link to complete the survey

There’s a lot of information out there at this time and your Chamber is committed to providing you with reliable and pertinent information. Please know that we are in constant contact with our local, state and federal elected leaders. We are also working in partnership with the Columbia Economic Development Corporation and various other local business groups.

Because of the circumstances of this disaster, communications can be strained and require patience. We encourage you to utilize the online portals and websites as your point of contact. However, if you choose to call and are able to contact someone, try to get a contact name, and their direct phone number in the event that you are cut-off for any reason. Try to get a direct email address as well. Everyone is eager to help, but the demand is great at this time.

As a Columbia County Chamber member you can receive information through our Facebook page, as we update it regularly. You will also receive eblasts periodically with updates.

The Chamber is monitoring
the 2 Trillion dollar federal stimulus package and will provide you
with trusted and up to date information on programs designed to help
you, our members.

Once again, I ask you to take a couple of minutes to respond to the brief survey, which will help us determine additional ways we can assist you at this time. Click here to do survey .

SBA Express Bridge Loan Program

The US Small Business
Administration recently announced a new SBA Express Bridge Loan
Program. Details are below, there are 2 major points to be aware of
at this time. Only existing SBA Express Lenders may utilize this, and
the borrowers must have an existing bank relationship with that
lender. Below the notes is a list of SBA Express Lenders in the 34
counties served by the NYS Upstate office. Columbia County is
included in those counties. The things of note are highlighted in

In response to the COVID-19 National Emergency, the SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities affected by Presidentially-declared disasters while those small businesses apply for and await long-term financing (including through SBA’s direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, if eligible).

The general eligibility requirements for the EBL are as follows:

  • Small businesses with an existing banking relationship with SBA Express lenders as of the date of the disaster.
  • New applicants can be obtain an application at Please fill out the PDF version, you may request assistance with compiling the information at
  • Effective March 25, 2020, (announcement by publication of a notice in the Federal Register will follow), SBA expanded program eligibility to include small businesses nationwide adversely impacted under the Coronavirus Disease(COVID-19) Emergency Declaration issued by President Trump on March 13, 2020 (“COVID-19 Emergency Declaration”).
  • EBL loans can only be made by SBA Express Lenders that had a valid Supplemental Loan Guaranty Agreement SBA Express Program in effect as of the date of the applicable disaster;
  • EBL loans can only be made up to six months after the date of an applicable Presidential Disaster Declaration, however for the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, EBL loans can be approved through March 13, 2021.
  • The Lender must have an existing banking relationship with the EBL applicant as of the date of the applicable disaster in order to help mitigate the risks associated with the streamlined underwriting process under the EBL Pilot Program.
  • The small business must have been operational when the declared disaster commenced and must meet all other 7(a) loan eligibility requirements (credit elsewhere, size, etc.);

The member banks included in the list of pre-approved lenders include but is not limited to Community Bank and Trustco Bank, N.A. For a complete list of SBA Express lenders can be found at .

For additional resources such as SBA Disaster loans through the SBA can be found at .

If you have or are contemplating laying off employees, please go to for information for both employers and employees.

For information about stay at home work requirements for workers and other statewide orders by the Governor please go to

Columbia County Stands
Strong Together!


Jeffrey C. Hunt, CCE

President & CEO

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