Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident loan decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one loan provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about loans. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything loan related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Washington D.C. has lent a total of $1.2 million in interest-free small business loans to local owners since the start of the year, reported the Washington Examiner.

The 14 business loans lent were a product of the city’s Department of Small and Local Business Development program that began last November. All of the business loans—ranging from $40,000 to more than $150,000—were given to commercial institutions that were negatively affected by the city’s ongoing construction.

The construction, which was required to replace high pressure gas lines underneath the streets, caused sidewalks and roads to be inaccessible at times.

One recipient, Carolyn Thomas, the owner of C.A.T. Walk Boutique, described why her commercial financing was necessary.

“A lot of people couldn’t tell that I was open. On several occasions I’d go [to work] and they were digging right in front of the door so I couldn’t open that day. Another day I couldn’t open because they [were laying in] new cement on the sidewalk. I was already on a part of [the street] where if you blink, you miss it,” she told the Washington Examiner.

Thomas received a $40,000 business loan and used part of that money to relocate her store to a more accessible property.

When the gas line construction began, Washington D.C. didn’t immediately offer interest-free business loans, but instead released this program when they saw a dire need for it. It wasn’t until after the city saw a slew of local businesses close their doors between 2007 and 2008, when those companies lost as much as 60 percent of their business and were forced to shut down.

The Department of Small and Local Business Development program appears to be a local effort to to compensate for the void left when the government’s Small Business Administration either refuses or is simply not able to help.

“I think the city is now recognizing the impact of major street construction on small businesses and doing something proactive about it,” said Kristen Barden, executive director of the Adams Morgan business improvement project.