$1 million in funds available from BRPC

Adam Rollins

Businesses affected by COVID-19 or faced with new expenses because of the pandemic now have an extra source of help available in the form of $1 million in loanable funding through Boonslick Regional Planning Commission (BRPC).

BRPC economic development specialist Christine Zika said the infusion of funding was provided by the federal CARES Act in response to COVID’s economic fallout. The $1 million was added to Boonslick’s revolving loan fund, a program that provides low-interest business loans in Boonslick’s tri-county region.

“This is specific to businesses affected by COVID-19, whether they were a company that had to shut down ... or if there was a manufacturer who all the sudden found themselves having to refit,” said Zika. The program will also help businesses who are struggling to access financing because of the pandemic’s economic fallout, Zika said.

The revolving loan funding can be provided to businesses with interest rates as low as 3 percent for COVID-related loans, with a typical repayment period of 7-10 years. Zika said BRPC often works in conjunction with local banks, offering gap financing to cover the difference between what a business needs and the loan a bank is willing to provide.

The extra pool of money provided for COVID relief is use-it-or-lose-it, so Zika is asking any business who thinks they might qualify to get in touch.

“If we only spend $500,000 of it, that means there’s only a $500,000 in our communities, rather than the $1 million impact,” Zika said. “We would much rather see that money get put to use in our communities than not.”

Zika said a mix of existing businesses and startups have already applied for loans thanks to the additional assistance made available.

BRPC Executive Director Chad Eggen said once that money goes into the community, it will stay in circulation here and eventually return to BRPC’s revolving loan fund.

“This is the first loan out. Anytime it’s paid off, the money that comes back revolves out (again),” Eggen said. Recent loan recipients include a bakery, a laundromat, and a vehicle loan service in Warren County, as well as a machine shop in Jonesburg, he said.

The impact of the revolving loan fund, both the existing program and the extra CARES funding, is to expand the local economy and create new jobs, Eggen said. Every $20,000 to $50,000 loaned out is expected to create a permanent new job, he said.

For more information about the revolving loan fund program, go online to boonslick.org/programs, email Christine Zika at czika@boonslick.org, or call Boonslick Regional Planning Commission at (636) 456-3473.


Montgomery Standard

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PO Box 190
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