The Burlington County Commissioners approved a zero-interest, $28,000 loan to Dana Ampy and her Amped to Dance Studio in Maple Shade. The loan is expected to help the studio to continue operations and retain two full-time employees and four part-time instructors.
The loan comes from Burlington County’s Health Emergency Loan Program, also known as HELP. The program was established by the commissioners in 2020 to assist local businesses during the health crisis.
Located on North Forklanding Road, Amped to Dance specializes in dance training for children, teens and adults and includes instruction in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and African dance styles. The studio first opened in March 2020 and has managed to continue operations despite the pandemic’s impacts.
“From the start of the pandemic, our board has done everything possible to support both our county’s residents and our businesses, and we continue to do so,” said Commissioner Director Dan O’Connell. “This dance studio is exactly the kind of business we were looking to support when we first launched the HELP loans. By providing this capital, we’re allowing it to remain in business, retain employees and purchase the equipment and supplies it needs to protect its students and staff.”
Burlington County Commissioner Felicia Hopson said the county loans have helped established businesses and new ones navigate the challenges of the pandemic.
“Small businesses are incredibly important for our economy and our communities, and this particular loan will help a woman-owned business continue to operate and keep full-time and part-time employees,” Hopson said. “Providing this interest-free financing for local businesses has been a critical component of our County’s COVID-19 response and has helped keep businesses open that might have otherwise been forced to close or lay off workers.”
The HELP loans are administered by the Burlington County Bridge Commission and the Office of Economic Development and Regional Planning, which secured the $660,000 in federal funding being used for the loan program.
Up to $50,000 in zero-interest financing is available for any business located in Burlington County for business-related purchases, expenses and improvements. To be eligible for the loans, the borrowing business must retain jobs for the term of the loan and have sufficient collateral.
More details on the loan program can be found at www.bcbridges.org/covid19-resources/.
“Small businesses are essential to our county. They are our largest job providers and they deliver goods and services for our residents and visitors,” said O’Connell. “We’ve made a lot of progress in helping businesses recover since the pandemic started but we know that some are still struggling, so we’re encouraging any local business that needs help to apply right away.”