In his latest initiative to assist the Joplin area in its recovery from the devastating May 22 tornado, Gov. Jay Nixon today announced several new resources to assist area businesses recover and rebuild. After visiting with local business owners whose places of business were either destroyed or badly damaged, the Governor today detailed the new awards and the modifications to existing programs that will bring a total of $75 million in new business recovery resources to the Joplin area.
"The business owners I met with today are committed to rebuilding, and they exemplify the spirit of recovery and hope that is moving Joplin forward," Gov. Nixon said. "This $75 million to help businesses rebuild will help get the area's economy back on its feet as quickly as possible. As we continue to rebuild homes, infrastructure and businesses, getting employers and employees back to work is vital to the health and well-being of the regional economy, and the health and well-being of families."
The additional resources will help businesses with such needs as building rehabilitation, working capital and inventory purchase. The Governor said two existing loan programs would be modified as part of the initiative, and two new awards will be used. The programs being modified include:
- The Grow Missouri Program, which has been broadened to include a wider array of eligible applicants, including retail and service business. The program, which is part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative funds the state of Missouri was awarded from the U.S. Treasury, also has been changed so that insurance proceeds can be counted toward the private match required under Treasury program rules. The funding available through this program is $10 million; and
- The State Small Business Loan Program, which also has been broadened to include a wider array of eligible applicants, including retail and service business; and to allow for more flexible deferred payment terms. The funding available through this program is just under $1 million.
The new awards announced by Gov. Nixon today include:
- $50 million in Private Activity Tax Exempt Bond capacity that has been set aside by the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) to assist Joplin area manufacturers in their recovery from the tornado;
- $14 million for investment for the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation that will be generated by $7 million in Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credits. The funds will be used for recovery activities including business assistance, business facilities, workforce facilities and training, community facilities, capacity building, land acquisition and assembly for rebuilding.
In addition, the Governor said, DED has put in place a streamlined process for businesses to minimize the paperwork and red tape to access this capital so that the businesses can focus on rebuilding Joplin's economy. The streamlining was made possible through an agreement signed this week with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers.