A new economic and business development fund has been launched in northeast Indiana. The $1.5 million LaGrange County Revolving Loan Fund is a partnership among the area's economic development corporation, county commissioners and county council. October 21, 2013

News Release

LaGrange County, Ind. – The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC), along with the LaGrange County Commissioners and LaGrange County Council announced today the funding and creation of a new LaGrange County Revolving Loan Fund to be used to further the economic development and business development efforts in LaGrange County.

The Revolving Loan Fund was first presented as the result of a committee of county councilmen, county commissioners, and the LCEDC in late 2012 as a way to address the many requests for smaller loans from the Major Moves fund that the LaGrange County government had received. In response, the committee proposed the creation of a new $1.5 million dollar revolving loan fund. A basic outline of policies and procedures for the operation of the loan fund, along with a loan application and other documentation were first presented at a joint session of the LaGrange County Council and LaGrange County Commissioners in October, 2012. The creation of the new RLF was approved unanimously, and was seeded with $1.5 million dollars, the amount that the committee had recommended.

The objectives of this new fund are numerous:

-promote significant opportunities for the employment of LaGrange County residents,

-to encourage the creation and retention of permanent jobs with a wide range of wage scales appropriate to our community,

-to create new wealth and above average wages,

-to leverage private investment in the county,

-to maintain and improve a positive business climate in LaGrange County,

-to retain existing businesses and encourage new business creation

The loan size available from the program is limited, and priority will be given to projects that meet the greatest number of objectives in the program. Loans to a project are capped at no more than 33 percent of a project with the remaining funding coming from other private sources. Activities that loan funds can be expended upon are limited, and the borrower will be responsible for all loan closing costs and other associated fees.

The LCEDC has contracted with the LaGrange County government to administer the program. A loan review committee consisting of seven local and regional professionals has been appointed to the program, with the President/CEO of the LCEDC acting as a non-voting member. The individuals appointed are:

-Kerry Sprunger, Executive Vice-President and Chief Lending Officer, Farmer's State Bank,

-Anna Efthimou CPA, of Anna Efthimou CPA,

-John Mory, CFO of J.O. Mory, Inc.,

-Wes Shie, Business Advisor, Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center,

-Mark Leu, CEO of the LaGrange County REMC and LCEDC Board President,

-Larry Miller, LaGrange County Commissioner,

-Ryan Riegsecker, President of Riegsecker’s Marketplace and LaGrange County Council

Loans that are approved by the committee will then be presented by the LCEDC and the RLF committee before both the LaGrange County Commissioners and the LaGrange County Council for final approval.

“We are excited to be a part of this program,” Sprunger said. “This fund provides a perfect “gap” financing mechanism to encourage new investment and job creation in LaGrange County.”

“We commend our local officials who had the foresight to see this as a great economic development tool in our community's toolbox,” said Keith Gillenwater, President/CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation. “This fund will continue to grow over the years and will have a significant and lasting impact on business and entrepreneurial development in LaGrange County.”

About the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, established in 2009, is a 501(c) 3 corporation designed to assist business development needs. The LCEDC partners with local, regional, state, and federal agencies to attract, retain, and develop new businesses and entrepreneurs in LaGrange County and its communities. For more information about the LaGrange County EDC, please visit www.lagrangecountyedc.com or call at 260.499.4994.

Source: The LaGrange County Economic Development Corp.

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