WEST CHESTER, PA — Benchmark Federal Credit Union is offering Chester County business owners an addition or an alternative to the federal government’s newly created SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) via the newly created Benchmark Cares Loan Program.
“We are submitting applications to the SBA PPP for a number of local small businesses, and while we expect that some will be granted, others will be rejected due to incredibly high demand for government funds. In addition, some may not qualify for and some businesses may need more funds than the government programs are offering. We needed to provide a valuable option to support them,” says Daniel J. Machon, Jr., President and CEO of Benchmark Federal Credit Union.
The Benchmark Cares Loan is interest‐free for the life of the loan, and the first payment is deferred until January 1, 2021. The loan has a 10‐year term and offers funds up to $50,000.
“At this time, we’ve set aside $1 million for local business owners, with applications considered on a first-come, first‐serve basis to preserve fairness,” says Mark A. Pizzi, Vice President of Commercial Lending at Benchmark.
The Benchmark Cares Loan requires a lien on the business owner’s primary residence, and the applicant(s) must qualify for the loan. “We want to make sure business owners are aware of this important fact. As a member‐owned financial cooperative, it is our responsibility to offer the best loan terms possible while preserving the financial wellness of the institution as a whole,” states Machon.
“PPP has a lot of benefits, and we are glad to be able to offer it to our members, but our local business owners need additional help, and Benchmark is doing whatever we can to support them during these challenging times,” says Machon.
To complete a short loan application, visit https://www.benchmarkfcu.org/about-us/covid-19.html. To speak with Benchmark’s staff, call (610) 429‐1600.