HFLA Small Business Emergency Loan

HFLA Small Business Emergency Loan

The HFLA Small Business Emergency Loan goes up to $5,000 and are to support small businesses during this uncertain time.

The loan can be used to cover payroll, rent, and other expenses while business is slow (or paused).

To be eligible for these loans:

  • The business should have been in business for a minimum of 12 months.
  • The business owner is required to meet with an HFLA business loan volunteer* to discuss how COVID-19 has affected their business.
  • The business owner needs to provide a recovery plan.
  • The business owner is required to check in periodically for support.

*(HFLA business loan volunteers consist of bankers and current and retired business owners.)

Loans will be made to the business; business owner(s) (who own more than 20%), and business owner(s) will guarantee the loans. These loans are not meant to replace Disaster Relief SBA loans or other funds that business owners may be eligible for, but rather to offer additional support.

As with all of our loans, we will be doing our due diligence to make sure that we are making good lending decisions. Sending in an application does not guarantee an approval. Please contact us at team@interestfree.org if you have any additional questions about eligibility or requirements or would like to apply. The loan application process will be “touch free.”

The Small Business Emergency Loan has been generously funded by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

More resources for small business and individual assistance can be found on our COVID-19 Resources post.

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Avoiding Financial Scams During COVID-19

Avoiding Financial Scams During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are all trying to navigate a “new normal” in our daily lives. It has been inspiring to see how many individuals, small businesses, and families are coming together to lift up their community and strive to make a difference in the lives of those who are facing difficulties. 

Yet, despite this new “distant” community connection, we must still be wary of scams that try to take advantage of the vulnerability and generosity that we see today.

We have some basic tips to keep yourself safe from scammers during these times.

3 Essential Rules:

  1. Do not give your Social Security number, any bank account numbers, or credit/debit card numbers to someone over the phone. You have no way of guaranteeing the identity of whoever is on the other line. 
  2. If someone solicits you for something that you’ve “won,” an investment opportunity, or a “limited time offer,” walk away. If it seems too good to be true, IT IS
  3. If you are looking at financing or loan options, look for the Truth in Lending Act within the loan documents. If you are unable to find reasonable interest rates on a personal loan, contact HFLA of Northeast Ohio.

From the Ohio Department of Health: 

  • Robocalls – Never provide personal information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers to automated messages. If you think that the message is legitimate, call the organization via a local branch number and speak to a representative. 
  • Emails from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Legitimate information is available from the CDC via coronavirus.gov and from the Ohio Department of Health at coronavirus.ohio.gov
  • Federal stimulus checks – Updates can be found on the Federal Trade Commission website: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/03/checks-government – You WILL NOT need to pay money in order to receive your stimulus check, you WILL NOT need to provide social security numbers, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers. DO NOT GIVE THIS INFORMATION OUT.
  • Research charities before donating (that includes us!) – Find a database of registered charities on the Ohio Attorney General’s website: https://charitableregistration.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Charities/Research-Charities.aspx

If you suspect unfair or deceptive sales practices, contact the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost: www.ohioprotects.org – 1-800-282-0515

Keep up to date with the latest scam alerts on the Federal Trade Commission website: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts

COVID-19 Resources for Northeast Ohio

COVID-19 Resources for Northeast Ohio

HFLA of Northeast Ohio aims to bring resources that are relevant to the community it serves. This is not a replacement for 211 or existing community resource guides in your community. It is highly suggested you look at and support existing local resources. 
HFLA of Northeast Ohio has not vetted all of these organizations or offerings––these are provided as-is. If you have any comments, or contributions to this list please contact us at team@interstfree.org – subject: COVID-19 Resources. 

For the most accurate and up to date information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ohio visit the Ohio Department of Health 

Rental & Housing Assistance

Energy Assistance Programs

Northeast Ohio Resources

Greater Ohio Resources

Food Resources: 

Small Business Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Fund Press Release

If you DO NOT have the ability to print and scan or fax, please contact us for an alternative application. 

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If you have the ability to print and scan or fax documents, you may access the .pdf version of the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Application below

COVID-19 Emergency Loan Application (ENGLISH)COVID-19 Emergency Loan Application (SPANISH)


Michal Marcus (HFLA)

Tel: 216-378-9042

Email: michal@interestfree.org

Coronavirus interest-free loan fund

Cleveland, Ohio (March 12, 2020) –

By now we have all heard about the evolving impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe. For many of us, the effects have shifted from a piece of news to a part of life.

Along with health concerns, there are many unfortunate financial implications: events are being canceled, restaurants are left empty, and people unable to go to work as they live through their quarantine, to name a few. For many working people in Northeast Ohio and the surrounding this can quickly lead to financial crisis.

To meet this need, the HFLA of Northeast Ohio will be offering interest-free loans for those affected economically by the coronavirus who live in Northeast Ohio.

HFLA will provide expedited Interest-free loans of up to $1,500 for purposes including (but not limited to):

  • Lost wages due to being unable to go to work
  • Child care costs due to school closures
  • Related medical costs

To apply, borrowers should contact HFLA at 216-378-9042 or email team@interestfree.org specifying that the request is for coronavirus related needs.

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About HFLA of Northeast Ohio

HFLA of Northeast Ohio was founded in 1904 with $501 donated by Charles Ettinger, Morris Black, and their friends to help European refugees settle and begin productive lives in this country. They believed – as we do now – that if you give someone a chance to succeed, they will pay it back and we can continue this transformative cycle. The same principle guides the organization today. By providing interest-free loans to individuals, families, and small businesses in the Northeast Ohio area, we are able to help people help themselves. The association has drastically increased its lending capital in the past few years from individual gifts, bequests, endowments, foundation grants, memorials and honorariums and is now operating with a loan fund of over $1 million. HFLA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Learn more about HFLA.


HFLA Corporate Partner Program

Investing in Northeast Ohio’s renewal starts with investing in its most precious resource, its residents.

HFLA has specialized in providing long-term financial relief solutions to the residents of this great region for 115 years. 2020 plans include scaling up operations and empowering even more Northeast Ohio residents with interest-free loans. Partnering with HFLA to achieve these goals provides your organization with the ability to directly impact individual residents and help build sustainable change.

The HFLA Corporate Partner Program gives your organization the ability to create a loan pool fund that will expand your reach into Northeast Ohio communities, specifically, those with high concentrations of low to moderate income residents.

To learn more about HFLA's Corporate Partner Program and how to become a partner, please click here here.


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HFLA of NEO's Letter to Senator Portman

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Dear Senator Portman:

Thank you for opposing the health care bill that is currently before the Senate.  In its present form, the Senate Bill is detrimental to all Americans—not just your Ohio constituents. In addition to slashing Medicaid and Medicare, as well as denying millions of Americans access to affordable health care, it limits (or prevents) access to care for opioid addiction - an issue about which I know you are personally passionate.

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