Small business owners, entrepreneurs and farmers are getting a boost from Missouri’s low-interest loan program.

Loan volume is up more than 60 percent from four years ago, meaning more Missourians are taking advantage of the state’s linked-deposit program. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel says the program has put more than a billion dollars back into the state’s economy.

Businesses with fewer than a hundred employees can take advantage of the low-interest loans through partnerships with 350 community banks throughout the state. Zweifel says those who have benefited from borrowing the money have saved some $18 million in interest.

He says this is a vital tool for small businesses and farmers during a tough economy, and he says it’s a permanent committment … there’s no sunset on the program, and he’s pleased to see the state helping businesses and start-ups try to grow.

He says banks are loaning the money based on their own credit decisions, but the state makes the deposit for loans approved, keeping the interest rates down. Zweifel says the capital for the program comes from income through the state’s portfolio, which his office maintains and manages.

Zweifel says the program has made more than a billion dollars in loans available in the past three years, a milestone since he says he worked with the legislature a couple years ago to expand the linked-deposit program. He attributes the growth to that expansion.

“We have doubled our lender partnerships, we have guaranteed access to low-cost capital and we continue to make smart investments.”

Qualifying borrowers generally save 30 percent on the cost of the loan. About 130 lenders with 350 branches throughout Missouri use the Missouri Linked Deposit Program, and an extensive list of participating lenders and program eligibility guidelines are available at

Following is a regional summary of loans made since January 2009:

  • Kansas City Region (Bates, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray): $101 million, impacting 2,000 jobs and farmers.
  • Mid-Missouri Region (Audrain, Benton, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Dent, Gasconade, Howard, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Pulaski, Saline): $295 million, impacting 4,200 jobs and farmers.
  • Northeast Missouri Region (Adair, Chariton, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan): $129 million, impacting 2,300 jobs and farmers.
  • Northwest Missouri Region (Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Worth): $62 million, impacting 1,100 jobs and farmers.
  • Southeast Missouri Region (Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Wayne): $125 million, impacting 2,100 jobs and farmers.
  • Southwest Missouri Region (Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Polk, Shannon, St. Clair, Stone, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Webster, Wright): $131 million, impacting 2,100 jobs and farmers.
  • St. Louis Region (Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Warren, Washington): $179 million, impacting 3,700 jobs and farmers.