Pending federal approval, the Grant County Revolving Loan Fund program will be closed for business. Per the Wisconsin Dept. of Administration’s (DOA) decision, the revolving loan fund program in Grant County, City of Boscobel, Village of Potosi, and possibly the City of Cuba City, will not be able to issue any new loans as of 9/30/2018. It is anticipated that the federal agency will approve DOA’s recommendation. It does appear that the Village of Muscoda will be able to keep their RLF funding as all of their base funding came prior to 1992. I am hoping Cuba City may fall into this provision as well.
Over its short history, 53 loans were issued by the county, totaling over $3.3 Million. This led to hundreds of new jobs being created and additional jobs retained, as well as a large volume of new building construction generating new property taxes. Not many counties in the state can say they did more with their RLF program than Grant County.
But, all is not lost. Grant County Economic Development Corporation has created their own Revolving Loan Fund program and will be able to issue micro-loans as the program grows.
If we have a larger scale business project that is going to create at least 20 jobs, then I would recommend applying to the Wisconsin DOA for a loan (and I can assist with these applications). The DOA is strong with cash and will be more so after the CLOSE program takes in the revolving loan fund balances from around the state. The challenge is the most common business projects, those of smaller business expansions or entrepreneur startups. These projects are those in the $10,000 to $100,000 range, and not something the DOA has any interest in lending. It is my goal to build our GCEDC loan program to the level of the County’s RLF program. Coincidentally, a year ago my GCEDC Executive Committee approved a “strategic goal” for the corporation of raising $250,000 for a new revolving loan fund program within 3 years. That is one goal that is truly needed now.
On a different and more positive note, since it is September, it is time to be planning for 2019. GCEDC is primarily funded by dues from our member communities and the county. Every fall we determine the dues for the corporation, and again this year, there will not be an increase in dues requested from our member cities, villages, township and county. The dues paid in 2019 are the same as those paid in 2007. We have worked hard to keep costs managed and to find other sources of funding. Our office is not exempt from inflation or the simple fact that costs go up. We have developed other sources of funding to help offset these increases in costs. We certainly value and appreciate all of our municipal partners that make Grant County Economic Development effective.