Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
LinkedIn
YouTube

Revolving Loan Fund provides vital support for area small businesses 

May 3, 2024
Work Matters Column by Anthony Hellmueller

Since its inception in 1968, the Lincoln Trail Area Development District (LTADD) has been dedicated to crafting innovative solutions to complex community challenges. As a Workforce Specialist for LTADD, I've witnessed firsthand the impact of one of our organization's best-kept secrets: the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program. 

Designed to support aspiring and expanding small businesses, LTADD's RLF program offers accessible gap financing with reasonable rates. Established in 1986 through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the program has been instrumental in fostering job creation and investment across the Lincoln Trail region. 

With a primary focus on catalyzing private sector job growth, the RLF program serves LTADD's eight-county service region, comprising Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties. By providing a flexible and sustainable funding source, the program empowers small business owners who struggle to secure financing through traditional channels. Loans, offered at four percentage points below the U.S. Prime Interest Rate, are carefully regulated, ensuring their efficient allocation towards equipment purchases, working capital and property acquisitions. 

Beyond mere financial assistance, RLF program loans play a pivotal role in driving local economic vitality. They facilitate job creation, retention and private sector investment, thereby bolstering the region's economic landscape. 

Under the diligent oversight of the LTADD Loan Review Committee and Board of Directors, our dedicated staff manages all aspects of the program, from application coordination to financial reporting. Through meticulous monitoring, we track the outcomes and impacts of RLF-funded projects, ensuring alignment with our mission of stimulating economic growth and job creation. 

Since its implementation in the Lincoln Trail region, the RLF program has empowered 84 small business owners, disbursing over $3.7 million in loan funds and catalyzing the creation of 894 jobs while retaining 341 positions in the region. This success story is echoed nationally, with the RLF program boasting a cumulative impact of $1.3 billion in investments, 700,000 jobs created or saved and 45,000 loans to small and medium-sized businesses across 50 states and four U.S. territories, according to the EDA. 

In response to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, LTADD secured additional support from the EDA in 2020. A $550,000 grant, part of the federal CARES Act Recovery Assistance program, provided critical working capital gap funding to aid eight local businesses in our region. This underscores LTADD's commitment to supporting businesses during challenging times.  

Looking ahead, as the region experiences widespread economic growth and a tourism boom driven by burgeoning industries, we hope to see an increase in the number of small businesses that take advantage of the RLF program. With $330,000 currently available for loans, we stand ready to assist small businesses in financing new ventures and capitalizing on the region's economic momentum. 

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit LTADD's website for application details. Pre-applications are carefully reviewed by our staff, and promising candidates are invited to submit full applications, which undergo thorough assessment by the diverse and experienced LTADD Loan Review Committee. 

To learn more about the RLF program and how it can benefit your business, visit ltadd.org/services/revolving_loan_fund 

Anthony Hellmueller serves as Workforce Specialist for the Lincoln Trail Area Development District. He can be reached at anthony@ltadd.org.

 

The Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail helps match job seekers with local employment and training opportunities. Our business solutions team offers employers of all sizes and industries personalized support to build a competitive workforce. We are an equal opportunity employer.

Our Social Networks

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
LinkedIn
YouTube
Program is funded with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I funds through the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet and the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board. The Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board assures compliance with the Education and Labor Cabinet’s Methods of Administration, as amended, Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Assurance and all other Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity requirements of WIOA.