Small Business Sustainability Loan Program

In response to the unprecedented economic impact of COVID-19, the City of Petaluma, in partnership with Exchange Bank, has established the Small Business Sustainability Loan Program to deploy local emergency loans to businesses directly affected by the ongoing crisis.

Small Business is defined as a having 50 or less full time equivalent (FTE) employees on March 1st, 2020. Applicants must be a small business to be eligible to apply.

Loan Amounts Offered to Small Businesses:

Preliminarily, we will consider the following two loan tiers:

  • For business with 10 or less FTE* may receive a loan amount up to $5,000.
  • For business with 11 to 50 FTE* may receive a loan amount up to $15,000.

* About the "Full-time Equivalent (FTE)” provision: A full-time employee is typically one who works 40 hours/week. For example, one employee who works 40 hours/week equals one FTE. To determine the FTE number for your staff, add the total number of hours worked in a week by all employees, and then divide that number by 40. For example, if you have four part-time employees who work a total of 10 hours/week, those employees equal 1.0 FTE. Your FTE should be calculated as of your March 1, 2020 payroll.

Please note: The above loan tiers and the number of loans we are able to offer, will depend on how many applicants apply, given our limited funding allocation of $250,000. The City reserves the right to lower the maximum loan amounts to attempt to provide loans to as many qualifying applicants as possible. When your application has been submitted, we may discuss with you other available funding options, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, to ensure that the City of Petaluma Emergency Loans provide the best assistance to the community of businesses. If any applicant does not receive a loan, the City may provide information and direct the applicant to other available financial assistance alternatives through SBA or other entities.

Loan Details:

  • Up to $15,000
  • 0% Interest (Interest rate of no less than 5% charged if not paid in full by maturity date)
  • Up to a 5-year term
  • No fees
  • No collateral
  • Payments are deferred until July 1, 2021
  • The loan balance as of July 1, 2021 must be repaid in equal installments with an automatic payment system based on the amount of your loan
    • Loans up to $5,000 - Repayment will be over three (3) years
    • Loans up to $15,000 – Repayment will be made over five (5) years

To Be Eligible, Your Business Must:

  1. Be an existing small business with a store front presence or office located in the City limits of Petaluma and be independently owned and operated
  2. Have an active business license that was filed prior to January 1, 2020
  3. Be a for-profit business in good standing (i.e. no liens, judgements, and an active and valid license to operate in Petaluma)
  4. Businesses must show that historical profits would have been sufficient to service the requested debt
  5. There is no credit minimum, however the principal business owner must have reasonable and responsible personal credit history and an acceptable explanation for and derogatory marks. Bankruptcies and debt write offs must be at least 12 months old.
  6. Be free of any city/county tax liens or judgements
  7. Have a business bank account
  8. Demonstrate a hardship due to COVID 19 and show a drop in revenue since March 1, 2020
  9. Per the application, you must inform the City if you have applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)/CARES Act loan, and whether your application was successful. The City may give a preference to businesses unable to receive a PPP loan if the business has attempted to apply but was denied because of lack of PPP funding or because the business was not able to process a loan application through area banks and the SBA.

Eligible Uses of Loan Funds:

Loan funds should be used for daily operational needs such as lease/mortgage payments, payroll and benefit costs, utilities, services and supplies associated with making your business compliant with additional social distancing requirements.

Application Process and Required Documentation

The City of Petaluma Emergency Loan Program application period will open on Tuesday, May 19 2020. Please complete the form below to request a loan application.

If you meet the minimum criteria, you will be invite to apply. You will be required to provide the following:

  1. A photo or copy of current City of Petaluma Business License (as of January 1, 2020);
  2. A current IRS Form W-9 (showing your Taxpayer ID); and
  3. A payroll register, or similar documentation, including the number of employees and hours each employee worked to verify the number of FTE employees your business had as of March 1, 2020. Please do not show any social security numbers (SSNs) on this documentation.

Please submit an inquiry on the form below. If you meet the minimum criteria, you will be invited to complete a loan application and provide the required documentation online. Applications will be reviewed as quickly as possible and until the allocated program funds are fully exhausted. The first review phase will consider those applications received by 5 pm on Monday, June 1st, 2020.

If funds are remaining after the first review phase, a second review phase will consider those applications received thereafter. This review process will continue until all funds are awarded. Applications will be reviewed by a finance and loan committee consisting of City staff based on a list of criteria. A best effort attempt will be made to make loan approval decisions within ten (10) business days following each review period. We anticipate that your loan’s funding will occur within 2 weeks after your loan application has been approved.

Please submit questions to [email protected] or call (707)778-4352.

Small Business Sustainability Loan Inquiry Form


  • Name
  • My Business: * Required
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