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Cathay Bank expands Smart Relief Loan Program

Cathay Bank expanded its Smart Relief Loan Program on April 24, 2020, to all the states it serves with an increased amount of funding totaling $3 million. The program was available to small businesses in Cathay Bank’s assessment areas in California, New York, Washington, Illinois, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and New Jersey. As of June 30, 2020, the program has ended.

The Smart Relief Loan Program was launched on April 1, 2020, with the goal to help small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank initially started with a $2 million program, offering a low interest rate short-term business loan ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to small businesses located in Los Angeles County, and was later extended to California.

“This is an unprecedented time for all of us, and we know many small businesses are being hit especially hard by the stay at home order,” said Chang M. Liu, Cathay Bank President and COO. “We want to do our part to help our community through this challenging time. We encourage our communities and peers to join our efforts in helping this important business segment during this trying time.”


How to be eligible

To be eligible for the Smart Relief Loan Program, small businesses needed to meet the following criteria:

  • be located within Cathay Bank’s assessment area in California, New York, Washington, Illinois, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, or New Jersey
  • be in business for at least one year
  • have an annual revenue not exceeding $1 million


Low interest rate financial support for small businesses

Those that qualify receive an 18-month term loan with a 0% interest rate for the first six-month period with no payment due, followed by a 2% interest rate with full amortization of the fixed principal and interest due monthly for the remainder of the term. The application fee for the Smart Relief Loan Program was waived.

This article was updated on July 8, 2020.

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