As a result of a Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the City of Columbia has a revolving loan fund which can be used to foster business growth. Loans from the revolving loan fund will be targeted to assist with retention, growth and diversification of local businesses.

Because they are administered by the City, these loans offer lower interest rates than conventional loans. The interest rate for a particular applicant will vary according to the business's financial condition and its ability to maintain sufficient profits. As loans are repaid, money is put back into the fund and made available for loans to other businesses.

While commercial lenders are in the loan business to make money, the City of Columbia offers loans to help create jobs and support the ongoing economic health of the community. Financing from this program is designed to help businesses that cannot get traditional bank loans, either because their owners are seen as credit risks or because the businesses have not yet established credit on their own. Before access to the revolving loan fund is granted, applicants must demonstrate that they have exhausted all other financing alternatives.

Eligible uses for revolving loan financing include:
  • Site development or infrastructure extension;
  • Construction of a new facility or addition to existing facility;
  • Renovation of current facility;
  • Leasehold improvements;
  • Purchase of machinery or equipment;
  • Working capital.

Special consideration will be given to retention/expansion of existing businesses, start-ups, firms headed by females or ethnic minorities, projects located on Main St., and projects promising a high potential for creation of new jobs.

To be eligible for financing, a business must not have delinquent debt to the federal government. In addition, borrowers must locate or expand their enterprise within the corporate limits of the City, and the business must create one or more jobs for low-to-moderate income individuals within the local area.

For more information about the revolving loan fund, or to apply, please contact Emily Fultz, Director for Community & Economic Development. All inquiries will remain confidential.