Cella Ford, Chevrolet of New Bern, Hyundai of New Bern, Pecheles Honda, Riverside Auto Group, Toyota of New Bern & Trent Cadillac Buick GMC Unite to Help Small Businesses

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Seven local car dealerships are happy to announce a donation of $35,000 to the COVID-19 Small Business Loan Program organized by Swiss Bear Inc. in partnership with the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce. The money donated will be used as loans to small business owners who need assistance from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local Car Dealerships Unite to Help Small Businesses.

Seven local car dealerships are happy to announce a donation of $35,000 to the COVID-19 Small Business Loan Program organized by Swiss Bear Inc. in partnership with the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce. The money donated will be used as loans to small business owners who need assistance from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The participating dealerships: Cella Ford, Chevrolet of New Bern, Hyundai of New Bern, Pecheles Honda, Riverside Auto Group, Toyota of New Bern and Trent Cadillac Buick GMC all banded together to contribute $5,000 each as a gesture to the small business community.

Every owner had no hesitation when the idea was brought to them, “There was no question that we had to do something, or else these small business owners would fall short. We can’t let these people who work as hard as can be go out of business. That’s not happening on our watch,” said one dealership.

The idea to help started at the end of April when word spread that very few businesses received assistance from the federal government through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). After brainstorming at an early morning meeting, it came to their attention that Swiss Bear was initiating a zero interest COVID-19 small business revolving loan program. It became clear that was the perfect path to take to help local small businesses in the most effective way possible.

Swiss Bear Executive Director Lynne Harakal says, “I think it speaks volumes that our dealerships came together like this. New Bern can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to the economy. These owners put their personal business interests aside to work together and provide much needed assistance to New Bern’s small businesses, giving them that break they desperately need.”

Applications will be submitted online with the Chamber of Commerce and Swiss Bear overseeing the process to ensure they are complete and within the guidelines associated with the program. While the loan does have a limit of $10,000 per business depending on their monthly rent or mortgage, it is a zero-interest loan with no payments the first 12 months.

The loan program should begin before the end of May. Small businesses can check for program details later this month on the Swiss Bear and New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce websites.

Left to Right: Mark Genereux (Chevrolet of New Bern), Grant Loftin (Hyundai of New Bern), Adin Colón (Toyota of New Bern), Pete Deichmann, Mike Deichmann (Trent Cadillac Buick GMC), Lynne Harakal (Swiss Bear), Paul Hewson (Trent Cadillac Buick GMC), Jason Tomchesson (Cella Ford), Manny Kahsai (Trent Cadillac Buick GMC), Steve Cella (Cella Ford), Jeff Mooring (Riverside Auto Group), Henry Gouty (Hyundai of New Bern) and Dustin Tyson (Riverside Auto Group), [Not pictured: Brian Pecheles (Pecheles Honda)]

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Adin Colon