Connor Group pledges $1M to lending program for small business in time of need

Encourages other business leaders to join in efforts

A local real estate investment firm has committed $1 million to help struggling small businesses survive the coronavirus outbreak.

The Connor Group this week launched a loan program specifically dedicated to businesses with between five and 50 employees. Minority-owned small businesses and small businesses that were unable to receive federal stimulus funds will be given special consideration. Loans will range from $25,000 to $150,000.

“I can relate to what small business owners are facing right now,” said company founder Larry Connor, who started his first of several entrepreneurial ventures when he was just a teenager. “I’ve faced those situations when you’re scrambling and doing everything you can to make payroll. We want to be a lifeline to those businesses.”

Some of the money will be paid in the form of no-interest loans payable over 24 months. Some of the loans will be forgiven.

Small business owners can apply by filling out a simple form at www.connorgroup.com/kids-and-community/local-small-business-loan-program/.

After reviewing the list of applicants, the loan program’s committee then will review additional financial data and meet with companies that best meet the criteria. The committee – consisting of Connor Group partner Mike McQuiston, former Emerson Climate Technologies CEO Tom Bettcher and UD Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Director Vince Lewis – expect to have all loans made by May 15.

The loan program is The Connor Group’s latest community endeavor in the midst of the coronavirus. It’s also funded and helped organize a food drive at Dayton Early College Academy schools and provided in-home WiFi for Dayton Public Schools high school students. It’s worked with a number of other community-based programs through its non-profit arm, The Connor Group Kids & Community Partners, earmarking as much as $750,000 for such endeavors.

“Leadership matters in times like these, and we believe in leading from the front,” said Connor. “Small businesses are the backbone of this country and they’re struggling. That’s why we’d encourage other businesses in the area to join in our efforts.”

Businesses interested in joining the loan fund, can contact Mike McQuiston at mmcquiston@connorgroup.com.

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