Mount Rushmore
April 13, 2020

Elevate Rapid City Creates Emergency Bridge Loan Program Available to Regional Small Businesses


RAPID CITY, SD – Elevate Rapid City is making $750,000 available through its new Emergency Bridge Loan Program to help small business owners in the Rapid City area experiencing economic damage as a result of COVID-19. These loans, which will be serviced by the West River Business Center, can be up to $15,000 per eligible business.

“These are difficult times for all of us, but especially for our small businesses” said Tom Johnson, President and CEO for Elevate Rapid City. “We’re facing the challenge together. We know these small loan dollars aren’t nearly enough to help everyone, but we’ve got to be creative and we’ve got to help our neighbors in this time of need. Elevate wasn’t created to sit on the sidelines. So we’re not.” These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer-term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or SBA or state assistance.

The Bridge Loan Program is not designed to be the primary source of assistance to affected small businesses, which is why eligibility is linked pursuant to other financial sources. Loans made under this program are short-term debt loans, not grants. The Elevate Rapid City Emergency Bridge Loans require repayment by the approved applicant from longer term financial resources like the SBA as they come in to help businesses in the next 45 days.

“Elevate’s mission is to elevate the Rapid City Region for everyone," said David Lust, Board Chairman for Elevate Rapid City. “Although we know this puts some of our traditional loan fund dollars at a higher risk, the benefits to the community in this time of crisis are much greater.”

Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit or non-profit small businesses that maintain a place of business in the Rapid City area. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to March 9, 2020 and suffered economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with 2 to 50 employees. For full eligibility information and the application, business owners can go to: