Missouri farmers and small businesses trying to rebuild from recent disasters can get a lift through a new state low-interest loan program called LIFT. At a press conference Thursday in Jefferson City, State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick says when using linked deposits through LIFT, his office gives state funds at reduced rates to banks to offset the funds they are providing in a loan. The borrowers then get lower interest rates, allowing them to save an average of 30% on interest.
“Too often we hear about government as a roadblock. This is a good example of government being able to work together with the private sector to try to do what we can to help assist in a recovery,” says Fitzpatrick. “We want those impacted by the storms and flooding to get back on their feet as quickly as possible. This is good for individuals, it’s good for communities and it’s overall good for the state’s economy.”
Fitzpatrick says getting a LIFT loan does not mean farmers and businesses cannot get a federal loan from the Small Business Administration.
“A lot of people will have insurance. Some people won’t have insurance. Some people will have a gap in coverage between what their loss was and what their insurance coverage is,” he says. “This is just meant to be a supplement to everything else that’s going on out there.”
Farmers and businesses can contact one of the roughly 350 participating Missouri bank branches to apply. The loan limit is $2 million and the interest rates vary on the bank and applicant.
Approval or denial of applications will be granted in about 24 hours. The program also allows refinancing of existing debt.
Fitzpatrick says LIFT differs from Missouri’s traditional linked deposit program called Missouri FIRST. He says any Missouri farmers and businesses with losses in counties not yet declared as disaster areas could take advantage of the Missouri FIRST program. It has a $1 million loan limit. The interest rates are not as steep and no refinancing of existing debt is allowed.
Officials from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Missouri Farm Bureau attended the press conference.
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