Loan Program Helps Businesses Succeed
One local Economic Development Authority Director calls the revolving loan program offered by the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council “the most valuable tool I have at my disposal.”
The loan programs available allow the regional council to assist nearly all businesses in Ritchie, Wood, Pleasants, Jackson, Calhoun, Roane, Tyler and Wirt counties. The program has expanded with limited offerings to Dodddrige, Gilmer,Mason, and Tucker Counties. The loan options vary in their amounts and capabilities with a range from $2,000 to $250,000.
The MOVRC loan programs have disbursed a combined total of over $17 million since the inception of the loan programs. Those funds have leveraged more than $54 million in other public, private and owner’s equity funds.
The program is successful due to the level of support from with economic development authorities, and the MOVRC loan committee. By focusing efforts on making sure businesses can succeed, they don’t just lend money upon request. They confirm that businesses are ready to accept the money and use it for growth and additional revenue creation, not just allowing it to become another debt. The goal is to help businesses to grow by nurturing them and helping them realistically plan for the future.
The MOVRC encourages the business owners to attend business training to assure that the fledgling businesses that borrow money have the skills needed to succeed. Such training is offered through the Small Business Development Center at WVU-Parkersburg. Online training also is an option.
These loans have been responsible for helping save a number of existing businesses and start up others. Without the MOVRC loan programs, a number of businesses would have closed their doors and a number of others would never have found the funding to begin and succeed.
The loans offer different possibilities, giving the lender more flexibility in how monies are secured and in the terms offered. It is many agencies working together to help businesses succeed. The revolving loans are usually made at a lower interest rate than conventional commercial loans. Yet, the MOVRC often partners funding with loans from local banks, each providing a portion of the loan package. This results in a lower ‘blended rate to the borrower.’ It also allows banks to help finance businesses that would not be funded if they were the sole lender. The MOVRC are not an option if the business can obtain full financing through a financial instituion such as a local bank or credit union.
The MOVRC loan programs were started with a variety of funding through USDA, US-Dept. of Commerce, Appalachian Regional Commission, WV State programs as the Microloan and State Small Business Credit Initative. The loan do carry some government restrictions.
For more information see the applications, call your local development authority office or the MOVRC office.