October 28, 2015 – Jim Tank, Bi-State Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Board Member and Bi-State Commissioner–RLF Program Representative, stated the Bi-State RLF is celebrating 30 years of providing gap financing to businesses. Since the inception of the program in 1986, nearly $9.8 million has been loaned to 104 businesses in Rock Island and Scott Counties. These loans have helped generate approximately $435 million in total investments, accessing city and state public financing programs, financial institutions, and company equity. In addition, over 3,750 jobs have been created/retained in the two-county area. Currently, there is approximately $935,000 available to loan with the repayment loan pool growing by $10,000 each month.
Donna Moritz, Revolving Loan Fund Program Administrator, presented the Commission with information on the Mercer-Muscatine Revolving Loan Fund Program (MMRLF). Since the inception of the MMRLF in 2009, there have been $568,000 loaned to businesses in Mercer and Muscatine Counties. These loans have helped generate nearly $43 million in total investments. Currently, there is $63,000 available to loan for Mercer & Muscatine businesses.Mayor DeWayne Hopkins, City of Muscatine, proudly shared information about a project in downtown Muscatine that utilized the Mercer-Muscatine Revolving Loan Program. The Merrill Hotel and Conference Center is a cornerstone project for their downtown and its redevelopment. The project includes an 114-room hotel, conference center and ballroom, two-story parking garage, and associated outdoor improvements. This project compliments the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project, investment by local industry in the downtown and nearby, the city’s Community Attraction and Tourism State of Iowa grant and riverfront improvement plans, as well as small business programs. Muscatine has never had a better opportunity to see its downtown revitalized.
Mayor Hopkins stated local families and investors have stepped up to help drive, fund the hotel, and make this project a reality, as well as their friends from China. A critical component identified during the development process was the value of the RLF loan, its contribution to the project, and the regional support it brings to the project.
If you know of potential projects in the 5-county region that will create new jobs and needs public loan assistance to supplement conventional financing, please contact your local government's economic development staff or Donna Moritz at Bi-State.