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Through collaborative leadership we supplied a pipeline of $812 million in new capital investment projects to strengthen and diversify the assets in Iowa. But beyond big number private-sector prospects we also work with the progressive small businesses, nonprofits, civic leaders, workforce, education institutions, utilities, transportation, housing, etc to maximize productivity and long-term prosperity in our evolving economic landscape.

Financing Update: Does your business need a booster shot in our recovery marathon?

Since the recession started, Tama County Economic Development has been delivering info about financial booster shots into the mailboxes, email boxes and hand delivering info to over 1,400 Tama County businesses and stakeholders. We expect that another estimated 600 hidden micro entrepreneurs are amongst us, operating businesses on the side while otherwise employed. Please touch base if you are not on our list. This week a number of the programs we previously told you about expires. Here are some of our basic financing landscape changes:
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A few weeks ago the State of Iowa launched a resource specifically geared to entrepreneurs who typically get turned down by traditional bank lending. Often when a bank declines to get involved in a project, that also closed doors to other gap financing resources. Micro Financing is an alternative path. Businesses employing 5 or less people can borrow up to $50,000. A local banker shared with us last week that an entrepreneur with a criminal record and a 540 credit score was able to secure an Iowa Micro Financing loan. These loans are typically more expensive than bank loans.
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Yesterday the Small Business Jobs Act was signed on the federal level so our small businesses with ideas and strategies to grow can help drive economic recovery and create jobs. Here is a synopsis of what changed:
  • 90% Guarantee Extensions: Until at least Dec 31, 2010, our local banks will have more security to make loans. SBA will guarantee 90% of a loan and reduce fees to help our small businesses gain access to capital.
  • Increase lending limits: The  7(a) and 504  general loan limits will permanently increase from $2 million to $5 million (for manufacturers in the 504 loan program, up to $5.5 million). Express Loan limit will increase from $350,000 to $1 million (expires Sept 27, 2011).
  • Increase number of eligible businesses: size standards have been changed to include businesses with less than $15 million in net worth and $5 million average net income.
  • Real Estate Refinancing: some owner-occupied commercial real estate mortgages may now be refinanced into the 504 loan program (expires Sept 27, 2012).
  • Dealer Floor Plan Pilot Extension, Expansion: Program will be extended to 2013 after the $5 million loan limit is implemented to help businesses selling cars, RVs, boats, snowmobiles, and other titleable inventory.
  • Teaming Opportunities: new grants will be available to help businesses team up with each other to compete for larger and more complex federal government contracts.
  • Export Express Pilot Program: became a permanent program with 90% guarantee for loans up to $350,000 and 75% for loans between $350,000 and $500,000 for businesses to export their product or services.

NEXT TAMA COUNTY ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRUST MEETING:
If you are interested in the topic of financing business startups and expansions, we also welcome you to join us at our next meeting where the focus will be on grants, loans, abatements, and other solutions to make a business idea a reality. We will also lead an honest discussion on the barriers holding back our Tama County businesses from reaching their full potential as it pertains to financial matters, and discuss solutions.
Wed. Oct. 13, 6:30 p.m.
Reinig Center
1007 Prospect Drive
Toledo, Iowa
Free. Public Welcome. Click here more info on upcoming events.

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