Schmitt seeks to make state loan program more accessible | St. Louis Public Radio

Schmitt seeks to make state loan program more accessible

Mar 22, 2018

Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt is expanding a program that delivers low-interest loans to businesses.

Schmitt was in St. Louis on Thursday to announce changes in Missouri’s Linked Deposit Program. That program places state money into banks, and those dollars can then be used for low-interest loans.

Among other things, Schmitt is making the program easier to apply for — and allowing businesses to seek out another loan after five years. He said it's part of what he called the Missouri FIRST (Financing Investment in our Rural, Small Business and Technology communities) initiative.   

“And if a business is doing well and they want to re-up, they were prohibited before for no really good reasons,” Schmitt said. “So those are some of the administrative changes we heard from banks, we heard from businesses and farmers.”

Schmitt also announced he’s expanding the eligibility criteria for agricultural loans.

“Internally, we’re making it more efficient,” he said. “I think it’s easier to use and more accessible. And I think it’s going to play an important role in small-business development.”  

In addition to providing loans to businesses and farms, the Linked Deposit Program also lends money to local governments. Schmitt said there’s about $720 million of state money available through the program.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum