Meramec Regional Planning Commission has helped area small business owners access the funding their businesses need to establish and grow through a variety of loan programs over the last 30 years.
The MRPC board was briefed on current loan programs, including two that may be in danger of ending in the near future, during its most recent meeting April 11.
Of most concern is the Microenterprise Loan Program, which is funded through a grant by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
“We all know that with government funding, there is always an expiration date,” MRPC Business Loan Specialist Maria Bancroft said. “They want to see that money out within a certain time period, and we really want to let everyone know that the Microenterprise Loan Program is available, and probably not for too much longer, so we really want to get that funding out there into our region.”
The Microenterprise Loan Program is tailored to small businesses with five or fewer employees seeking a loan of $50,000 or less and must benefit low-to-moderate income employees. Microenterprise loans can be used for working capital, meaning business owners can use the funds to invest in inventory.
Bancroft explained that if the Meramec Region loses its Microenterprise Loan Program, one of the region’s RLF programs will also be lost.
“We were using this microenterprise program as a match to the RLF, so if we don’t have that match available, we don’t have that second RLF grant,” Bancroft said.
In addition to the Microenterprise and RLF programs, MRPC also offers a USDA Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) and partners with Meramec Regional Development Corporation (MRDC) to offer Small Business Administration 504 loans.
For more information about business loan programs, contact Bancroft by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tonya Price at email@example.com or by calling 265-2993.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook.