As of April 15, due to the current nationwide shutdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 8 out of 10 hotel rooms were empty across the country, according to Smith Travel Research.
To help the local hotels through the current economic downturn, the Phillipsburg City Council approved at their regular Monday meeting to offer $2,500 loans to the community’s three hotels. The interest-free loans are being offered with an 18-month term and will be funded from the city’s Industrial Development Fund (IDF). The IDF is funded by 1 mill annually and can only be spent on economic development that will benefit the city.
In conjunction, the Council also voted on Monday to cancel the loan program they approved during their April 3 meeting since the Phillips County Economic Development Board had approved all of the businesses that had applied for their $5,000 interest-free, 24-month loan.
The City Finance Committee is currently working on an economic stimulus program that would utilize the remaining money in the IDF to benefit local businesses once they are allowed to open back up to the public.