State Treasurer Clint ZweifelA low-interest loan program for small business has received a make-over. The State Treasurer worries not enough Missouri small businesses know about it.

Lawmakers approved the Invest in Missouri program this past session, which contained provisions to broadened the Missouri Linked Deposit Program. More money is available. More small businesses qualify.

Now, more need to know about it, says State Treasurer Clint Zweifel.

“We do know that 75% of all job growth in the state during an economic recovery is going to be job growth that is coming from small businesses,” says Zweifel. “So, this is a great program that touches those businesses, helps them save money when they borrow money, helps them re-invest in the people in the state.”

The state has back $220 million in loans, but another $500million is available. Once restricted to businesses with 25 or fewer employees, it’s now open to businesses with up to 99. There is no cap on borrowing. Incentives are given for investing in green technology. Zweifel has also assigned a manager for the program to give it more focus. Zweifel has placed more emphasis on it, calling it one of the core duties of the office.

Zweifel brought publicity to the program last week, announcing a $300,000 loan to a start-up life sciences business, LipoSpectrum, located in midtown St. Louis. Zweifel says LipoSpectrum is a perfect example of the type of business the start needs to help. It uses patented technology to perform lipid tests in the fight against various disease. LipoSpectrum works closely with researchers at Washington University in St. Louis.

Zweifel says he wants to see more small businesses apply.

“The number one thing we can do right now is build awareness,” says Zweifel, “Part of that is making sure we promote the program every way possible.”

Under the program, the state subsidizes a commercial loan, giving the company a two to three percent break on interest.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)