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“Unite Palm Desert” to provide financial relief for small businesses impacted by coronavirus pandemic


Fina Meraz and her husband Robert each own their own business.

Occupying the same building they own, her business is Tile Designs by Fina, and Robert owns iPay Solutions. 

“At first when this all started going on, we weren’t sure what was happening, so we all cut hours at first and adapted from there,” said Fiona.

Both of their businesses have taken a hit during the pandemic.

So both were excited to hear that they and other small business owners, with 25 employees or less, can now apply for the City of Palm Desert’s economic relief package called “United Palm Desert”.

“I’m real excited.  Palm Desert has always been known as a business friendly city and they’re showing it with this loan program.  So I will look into it as a small business owner,” said Robert.

The city is now offering upwards of $1 million in “forgivable” loans with no interest, with the first payment not due until 24 months after the loan closes.

The loan amounts vary from $5,000 up to $25 thousand depending on the number of employees.  

Eligible businesses include restaurants, retails shops and service industries.

This is just the first round for “United Palm Desert”.  

Eventually the city aims to loan out upwards of $3 million.   

Fina, who has kept her store open through the pandemic, says March was “down 30 percent”.  

Planning to apply for a loan, she would use the money to add a warehouse to the business.

“We’ve got a great clientele that just won’t stop and the sales are still coming in which we are thankful for,” said Fina.     

Robert, whose payroll and HR business is down 25 percent wants to put a front door on his office because right now he doesn’t have one.

His clients have to walk through his wife’s business to get to his. 

The deadline to apply for the first round of loans is 11:59 pm June 3rd.

More information on “Unite Palm Desert” and the online loan application can be found at the link below.


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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.


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