Minnesota gets $15.5 million for business lending

Minnesota gets $15.5 million for business lending

The U.S. Treasury has awarded the state of Minnesota $15.5 million for small
business loans in an effort to boost capitol to small and cash-strapped
companies.

The loan pool — to be administered through the Minnesota Department of
Employment and Economic Development — stems from the Small Business Jobs
Act, which was signed into law last year. The funds had to be allocated by
last Friday, the final day of the federal fiscal year.

The U.S. funds are designed to provide loan guarantees on small business
loans; make money available to lenders to issue up to $150,000 to small
firms; or provide seed money for angel investment funds. The latter
financing is particularly difficult to come by and is an area usually
plugged by entrepreneurs’ friends and family members — not banks or loan
funds.

“This award is great news for Minnesota businesses which are having
difficulties accessing the capital necessary to expand and provide new jobs
in our state,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement.

In a similar move, the Treasury Department announced last week that it had
awarded $25 million in Small Business Lending Funds to five Minnesota banks
and financial institutions. Heritage Bancshares was the largest of the five,
receiving $11 million.

Those funds plus those aimed at the state, “will help break down barriers to
loans for creditworthy small businesses looking to invest and hire in their
local communities,” said U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios.

Unlike other stimulus programs, the small business lending funds are aimed
directly at America’s Main Streets, which have struggled to retain credit
and employees.

http://www.startribune.com/business/131006913.html

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