Organization formed to help small businesses obtain financing

Ten area banks have formed an organization to make credit flow easier for small businesses looking to expand their operations throughout Southeast Missouri.

Known as the Cape Girardeau Area Community Development Corp., the for-profit organization will provide financing for businesses that need an additional amount to finance a particular project. Gap financing will fill that void by providing loans that make up the difference between the total cost of the project and the among of funds the business has available to accomplish its goal.

"Our organization looks at the gap," said Tim Arbeiter, secretary of the organization and vice president of community development at the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce. "If a business who qualifies can't come up with the financing through their lenders, then the banks in our organization will come up with that remaining percent. Instead of it being a no, it's more of a wow that this is an organization willing to finance the remaining percent to make this deal go through."

Each of the 10 banks have purchased stock in the Cape Girardeau Area Community Development Corporation. Money used from the stock will provide financing to those small businesses that qualify after review under the organization's investment committee.

If at least two banks are willing to provide the financing, Arbeiter said, then the small business would qualify for the loan.

"I applaud all the institutions for coming together to form the CDC," Moe Sandfort, president of the organization and community bank president with Bank of Missouri, said in a written statement. "Forming a CDC to assist small area business owners in expansion efforts is just adding an additional economic development tool in the toolbox.

"The creation of this organization allows for all the participating institutions an opportunity to bring forward quality projects that may need an additional financing consideration," Sandfort said. "Another exciting endeavor will be the exploration of how the CDC can complement redevelopment projects in our area."

The Cape Girardeau Area Community Development Corporation administrative office is at 1267 N. Mount Auburn Road. For more information on the program, call 335-3312.

bblackwell@semissourian.com

388-3628

Participating institutions of the Cape Girardeau Area Community Development Corp.

* Alliance Bank

* Banterra Bank

* Capaha Bank

* First Missouri State Bank

* First Community Bank

* First State Community Bank

* Montgomery Bank

* The Bank of Missouri

* U.S. Bank

* Wood & Huston Bank

Pertinent address:

1267 N. Mount Auburn Road, Cape Girardeau

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