For immediate release
MRPC awarded $780,000 EDA revolving loan fund to aid businesses
ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) was awarded a $780,000 revolving loan fund (RLF) from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants. The MRPC board approved the CARES RLF plan submitted to the Economic Development Administration for the use of the RLF funds, which will include a micro-loan lending program to meet working capital and fixed asset needs at its Oct. 8 board meeting.
“Small business are the backbone of our region, and many have been directly impacted by COVID-19,” said Bonnie Prigge, executive director of MRPC. “We are grateful that Congress and EDA have made these dollars available and really allowed us the flexibility to meet the needs of businesses to ensure strong and resilient communities.”
The CARES RLF new loan program is designed to provide financing for small businesses – in particular to quickly and efficiently meet the needs of those impacted by COVID-19. The loan program is structured to include simplified loan applications and closing procedures, reduced loan application fees, reduced borrower equity and collateral requirements and reduced interest rates.
“Essentially, we have money to lend to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 at really good rates for things like working capital, inventory, equipment, land and buildings,” MRPC Business Loan Specialist Candace Connell said.
MRPC and the Meramec Regional Development Corporation (MRDC), who will work as the loan review agent, consider loan requests from $5,000 to $200,000 for businesses located in the Meramec Region. The program will allow borrowers to finance up to 90 percent of the total project cost. Projects up to $50,000 do not require a participating lender. For projects over $50,000, a participating lender must finance a minimum of 25 percent up to 50 percent of the total cost. The loan terms are up to eight years for working capital and typically 15 years for fixed assets with reduced interest rates. The first loan was made at 3.5 percent. Additionally, for every $20,000 borrowed the business must create or retain one job and all businesses need to demonstrate an impact from COVID-19 when applying.
This is MRPC’s third EDA-financed RLF. Repaid capital will be held by MRPC for relending. MRPC also received $78,000 to cover staff time as the fund is being established and marketed. This helps ensure the lower loan rates. MRPC was one of six EDA RLF’s that will provide critical gap financing to small entrepreneurs across Missouri. The other agencies awarded include Boonslick Regional Planning Commission, Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership in Clayton and Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments.
Businesses and bankers interested in learning more about this new loan opportunity can contact Candace Connell, MRPC business loan specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone t 573-263-8651.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 34 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.