HANNIBAL (WGEM) – Economic development officials are working to grow businesses in Marion and Ralls County. They were approved earlier this week to provide some of the money needed to make it happen. Hannibal Industrial Development Co. is working with Hannibal Regional Economic Development Corporation to launch a new revolving loan program.
The goal is to give businesses the help they need to start or grow, and established businesses help make that happen.
Jimmy O’Donnell, fifth-generation owner of James O’Donnell Funeral Home, said he still needed to come up with new and innovative ideas for his business.
“In the funeral industry, we are always looking for unique ways to help families heal,” O’Donnell said. “And so, we’re looking at that in different ways, whether it’s event centers that can be used for life-changing events.”
That’s why O’Donnell chose to become an investor for the Revolving Loan Fund Program to help new and existing businesses grow.
“If this was a small way to continue that spark in the community, I really want to be a part of it,” O’Donnell said.
Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council Director Corey Mehaffy said the funds will really help start-ups or existing businesses with new ideas in Marion and Ralls County grow.
“For people looking to start a business for the first time, we typically see a gap in that funding stack,” Mehaffey said. “Usually the banks are willing to make a certain amount and they usually want to bring a certain amount to the table so often there’s a gap on what they’re able to do there.”
Mehaffaey hopes that as the program takes off, more investors like O’Donnell will be able to grow the funds.
“One of the things we’re working on right now is working with other businesses and individuals in the community who want to support small businesses,” Mehaffey said.
Mehaffy said there was just over $200,000 in the loan basket. This limits their loan amount to $25,000 per company, but he hopes to increase that amount if more investors participate.
You can request the funds here.
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