DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County’s Better Business Loan Program held a webinar on August 24 for small businesses owners seeking relief for losses or business slowdowns associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the DeKalb officials, up to $10 million is available in increments of up to $40,000 from the county allotment of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy Security Act (CARES) received from the federal government. Citizens Trust Bank is responsible for administering the loans.

The funds were made available through the $2 trillion authorized by the federal government on March 27, according to Steve Bradshaw, DeKalb County presiding officer.

“Welcome to this very exciting milestone in DeKalb County’s ongoing effort to respond to the health and economic crisis that is buffeting the American and really, the world economy,” said DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond at the beginning of the webinar. “I would like to thank the courageous men and women in DeKalb County who own small businesses.”

Speakers at the webinar included Cynthia Day, the presiding officer and CEO of Citizens Trust Bank, Terry Phillips, deputy county attorney, and Farrand Logan, chief loan officer from Citizens Trust Bank.

The webinar outlined details on governments qualifying for the Cares Relief Funds — necessary expenditures that were due to the pandemic that are not already accounted for in the budget before March 27, and were incurred from March 1 to December 31.

Business owners seeking relief had to first attend the webinar, then fill out an application for the Better Business Loan Program, which became live on Aug. 27. Successful applicants will be notified within 10 days of the application, Logan said, and they will be given three months to spend the money on eligible expenses.

For loan forgiveness, applicants must complete the Better Business Curriculum, which includes completing four learning modules. The modules outline steps in developing a business plan, getting financial controls in place, making ethical decisions and implementing effective communications protocols.

The Better Business Loan Program is designed for companies with a gross income of $1 million and 20 or fewer employees, according to the webinar information. The loan term, according to Logan, is 24 months.

DeKalb County officials did not provide information on the number of attendees at the seminar. For more information about the program, call Decide DeKalb at 404-880-3324, or email

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