April 22, 2004

USDA Awards $500,000 To NEMORPC For Revolving Business Loan Program

The Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission received a big check, both literally and figuratively, at the organizations annual spring membership meeting held in Memphis April 14.

Greg Branum, State Director of USDA Rural Development presented a check for $500,000 to the RPC to help fund an Intermediary Relending Program. The $500,000 loan will be used by the RPC to finance business facilities and community development projects in rural areas by establishing a revolving loan fund.

“USDA is glad to partner with Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission to assist in the growth and expansion of businesses in the area,” Branum said. “USDA Rural Development is committed to the future of rural communities.

The NEMO RPC serves the six-county region in “true northeast Missouri” including Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Schuyler and Scotland counties.

The USDA Intermediary Relending Program Loan is a $500,000 loan for 30 years at one-percent interest. The RPC will loan these funds to local businesses. As the monies are repaid by the businesses, the loan funds are put back into the revolving loan fund to make additional loans to other expanding businesses in the RPC service area.

“Improving the economic strength of the area by creating jobs, and expansion and attraction of business, is vital to further improvement of the region,” said NEMOR RPC Chairman Ron Alexander.

The revolving loan fund will be made available for business acquisitions, construction, conversion, enlargement, repair, modernization or other business developmental costs. The monies can also help purchase and develop land, build facilities and to secure equipment and purchases. The loans will also help pay for feasibility studies, cover start-up costs and provide working capital.

The revolving loan fund will be available to local businesses at a 5-percent interest rate. The maximum loan amount will be $125,000 with a minimum amount of $10,000. The process will require evidence of adequate private equity (10 percent) as well as private financing (50 percent).

The project is targeted toward projects that will create new jobs or save existing ones.

Branum stated that the local RPC was successful with its loan application because of three key factors. He pointed out the work done on the local level to prepare the application. He also applauded the work done by the USDA staff, which has steadily increased federal funding to the region despite a shrinking staff and budget for the office. Finally he praised the work of Missouri’s federal elected officials like Kenny Hulshof, Jim Talent and Kit Bond.

“When it comes time for us to seek a little help in our efforts to bring new industry to our region or expand existing businesses we go knocking on their doors – and never have they not responded,” Branum said.

Local businesses or community leaders working to assist with business expansion can contact David Shoush, Executive Director of the NEMO RPC at 326 East Jefferson, Memphis or by calling 660-465-7281.

USDA Rural Development provided more than $340 million of federal funding to assist rural Missouri during the past fiscal year. The assistance was made available through a variety of loan and grant programs to thousands of individuals, families, businesses and communities in Missouri.

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