Gov. Jay Nixon came to northwest Missouri today to give details about his three-pronged 2010 Jobs Package and to talk about the success of his Missouri Small Business Loan Program, which was launched last year. Standing at Remmers Design, a print shop in Bethany that is expanding operations in large part because of a low-interest loan from the state of Missouri, the Governor said his primary focus remains on creating jobs now.
"From day one when I took office, my top priority has been to turn this economy around," Gov. Nixon said. "In fact, one of my first executive orders was to create this tool giving small businesses in Missouri access to low-interest loans to help them grow, and Remmers Design and dozens of other small businesses around the state have put this capital to good use. This program, along with other economic development tools that are now in place, shows how we can make real progress by working in a bi-partisan way. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to implement even more of these economic tools to help our economy grow."
Marina Remmers, the owner of Remmers Design, has used the $25,000 loan from the Missouri Small Business Loan Program to purchase a commercial printer, as well as a larger cutter and laminator. She also has moved her business from her home to a commercial site. During his State of the State address on Jan. 20, the Governor highlighted another small business owner, Beth Daniels, who used one of the loans to build up the inventory of her educational games company and hire another employee. On Tuesday, the Governor also visited a sawmill in southwest Missouri whose owner, Kelly Burke, used the small business loan from the state to expand his operations.
Missouri employers with five or fewer employees are encouraged to apply through the Small Business Loan Program for loans between $2,500 and $25,000, with the loans to be repaid over a ten-year term at a three percent interest rate. To date, the program has approved 44 loans totaling $1,055,159. An additional $894,841 remains from the original $2 million in the loan pool approved by the Missouri Development Finance Board.
Gov. Nixon reminded small businesses across Missouri that the application process for the loan program is ongoing, and that additional businesses which have not yet applied are still eligible. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online at www.ded.mo.gov/MOloan/index.htm. Those businesses that already have applied are still under consideration for an award and need not apply again.
Gov. Nixon's 2010 jobs initiative would lay the foundation for long-term economic growth by enhancing tools to help existing Missouri businesses expand; investing in the blossoming science and technology enterprises; and committing additional resources for job training at Missouri community colleges. The 2010 Jobs Package includes three major components, two of which will require legislative approval:
The Missouri First proposal would create a loyalty program to help existing Missouri businesses expand and create new jobs. Under the proposal, existing Missouri employers would be eligible for enhanced incentives under certain economic development programs if they have been located in Missouri for at least five years. This proposal requires legislative approval.
The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA) would help attract new science and technology companies to the state. MOSIRA would establish a dedicated fund for investment in these companies by redirecting a small percentage of the growth in state revenue from a designated group of high-tech companies already located in Missouri. As additional jobs are created in these fields, the investment fund would grow, providing additional resources to invest in emerging companies. The Missouri Technology Corporation would administer the MOSIRA fund. This proposal requires legislative approval.
Training for Tomorrow is a $12 million investment in job-training programs at Missouri community colleges. This initiative is specifically designed to prepare Missourians for high-demand positions, such as nursing aides and laboratory technicians. Community colleges are required to submit detailed proposals to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, outlining how they intend to use the funds and the demand for the programs they seek to expand. Applications are now available and are due by Feb. 15. This program does not require legislative approval.
"The economic challenges we face are tough, but I know the people of Missouri are tougher," Gov. Nixon said. "By investing in our existing businesses, technology and training, I am confident we will create the jobs we need and move our economy forward."