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Business help proposed by EDA

By Staff | Sep 23, 2013

The Faribault County Economic Development Authority wants to spiff up area businesses.

During their Sept. 10 meeting they discussed the idea of offering a grant or loan to improve buildings around the county.

The assistance would come from the proposed program called Commercial Rehabilitation Grant/Loan, and it would offer loans on a first come first serve basis.

“The loan wouldn’t be used for building a new business and it wouldn’t apply to home-based businesses,” the executive director of Faribault County Development Corporation, Linsey Warmka, says.

Buildings around Faribault County could apply for the loan and use it to fix things such as roofing, plumbing and electrical.

Warmka says the Blue Earth EDA is looking to implement a similar program.

“This would be offered to other areas in the county,” she explains.

However, before this plan gets set in action, the county EDA would need approval from the board of commissioners.

“But, we have $200,000 just sitting in our funds that would be nice to use for something like this,” Warmka adds.

The amount of the loan hadn’t been set in stone at the time of the meeting. However, $20,000 was recommended.

A portion of the loan would be forgiven and zero-percent interest would be applied to the forgiven amount.

“The owner of the business would have to put an initial down payment of 15 percent of the project costs,”? Warmka says.

Then, 25 percent of the project costs, up to $5,000, would be forgiven.

“None of these numbers are set in stone,”?she adds. “The EDA wants to get input from the county commissioners so we can discuss the details before its approved.”

Warmka brought the idea to the Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting on Sept. 17 to discuss the details with the commissioners.

“We could see a benefit from this, and it could prevent us from needing to tear down the neglected building, which is another liability we hold as a county,” Commissioner Tom Loveall says.

With the commissioners on board with the idea, Warmka will go back to the county EDA to fine tune the details.

They will continue to discuss the idea at the next county EDA meeting which will be held on Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. at the Kiester Community Center.