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Revolving Loan Fund in place to help businesses attain growth potential

Park Rapids is developing a Revolving Loan Fund to utilize several pools of economic development funds.

The RLF will use funds from past state or federal assistance, including funds from the Minnesota Investment Fund and the Urban Development Action Grant. The total now is about $200,000.

Dave Hensel, with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, has been working with the Park Rapids Economic Development Commission, which is made up of the city council. He presented a policy last week that outlines the criteria for the RLF.

The purpose of the policy is to have guidelines to establish a procedure for regulating and coordinating the city's economic development funds.

The objectives include:

n Creating or retaining permanent livable-wage jobs in the city by expanding the existing business base and attracting new businesses to the community

n Leveraging private and other public investment to promote economic growth.

n Encouraging successful redevelopment in the city's priority development sites.

n Increasing the local tax base through building a diverse industry mix.

n Enhancing the quality of life within the community.

All businesses or individuals are eligible to apply for RLF funds but special preferences will be given to projects that:

n Are manufacturing or technology oriented

n Are non-competitive with an existing business

n Have high growth potential

n Are an existing business expansion

n Will enhance Park Rapids' quality of place and its competitive advantage

Loan funds could be used for purchase of equipment and other fixed assets, purchase of real estate for business expansion, construction/renovation, working capital needs or start-up expenses. Other uses could be included.

The council approved the RLF last week. It includes a total amount of about $200,000 right now.

The council also approved Tiffany Fettig, with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission to serve as the EDA loan processor.

Applications for the RLF are available at City Hall. For more information call 732-3163.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561