St. Louis SBA microlender looks to start new program in Springfield



Springfield is looking to partner again with a St. Louis microlender to provide loans to small businesses in the city.

The city council, at its meeting on Tuesday, is expected to debate an ordinance that would establish a new $ 2 million microcredit program, funded by the region’s banks and the Small business management.

Based in Saint-Louis Justine petersen would administer the COVID-19 recovery loan program. The city would provide $ 50,000 for the salary of the person working within the city Planning and Economic Development Office to help administer the loan and help with the dissemination of the program.

“So what this will do is really give them the presence, the greater presence in Springfield to be able to fill the loan need that our community has right now,” the mayor said. Jim Langfelder mentionned.

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Justine Petersen was asked to administer a similar loan program at the end of 2015 with $ 550,000 in loans committed from banks in the region. This time around, he has $ 250,000 in separate committed loans from Springfield Bank, Carrolton Bank, BNI, and PNC Bank totaling $ 1 million.

Another million dollars in committed loans comes from the SBA, combining to provide a pool of $ 2 million to help revive businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Justine Petersen’s microloans are aimed at businesses in low-income areas, and the vast majority of loans in Springfield have gone to black business owners.

“The data reinforces the mission of the program,” said Galien Gondolfi, Loan Advisor with Justine Petersen, referring to an internal report that found 83% of her loans went to black business owners. In total, 57% of Justine Petersen’s loans went to women.

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Gondolfi said his organization had recently met with members of the Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce and hope to partner with them to help administer the loans. Justine Petersen has been criticized in the past for being sometimes inaccessible. Gondolfi agreed that they weren’t always enthusiastic about marketing in every part of town.

“I think that by partnering with the darkroom, it provides the opportunity for concentrated penetration,” Gondolfi said. Justine Petersen will also seek the chamber’s recommendation on who she should hire for outreach within the city.

The money is provided to Justine Petersen by other entities, but the organization takes all the risk on all the loans it administers, Gondolfi said. Langfelder, a former city treasurer with a background in banking, said the program had a “favorable” loan proceeds of 3%.

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The city plans to contribute $ 300,000 in total to help with the program, although it is possible for Springfield to use the money it has received from the federal government. American rescue plan act.

Dominic Watson, president of the Springfield Darkroom, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Emergency purchases proposed

City council is also expected to consider urgently adopting a pair of ordinances totaling over $ 1.8 million to purchase equipment for the Springfield Fire Department.

Purchases are linked to $ 5.5 million in loans the city is expected to take from JP Morgan Chase Bank to purchase new vehicles for the SFD, the city police department and the public works bureau.

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Springfield Budget Director Bill mccarty said the fire department purchases are being put on an emergency because there is a five-figure surcharge if the city purchases them after August 1.

“We’re going to be contracting already. But it will be some time before we get anything,” McCarty said.

Costs include $ 1,213,168 for a new pierce 100ft flatbed fire truck and $ 622,212 for a new Pierce Enforcer engine. The city would purchase both items from the St. Paul, Minnesota-based company. MacQueen LLC Equipment.

SFD deputy chief Mike Abbott said construction of the truck will take at least a year due to semiconductor and metal shortages. Everything from pressure gauges to a truck’s hazard warning lights are controlled by microchips, which are rare, he said.

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Shelter proposal on the agenda

Also on Friday, Langfelder presented an order asking for an additional $ 1.2 million in credit to open a low-barrier shelter for homeless people at the former site of the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center. at 221 N. 11th St.

The cost is based on the $ 200,000 it takes to operate the overflow shelter for four months. This cost over a two-year period is equivalent to approximately $ 1.2 million. Half of the funding would come from Community Development Block Grant money, with the remainder being provided to the city through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The shelter will also connect those in need with the appropriate services and long-term housing solutions they need, Langfelder said.

“What we need to do is make sure that these are full coverage services,” Langfelder said. “Because it’s not just about overflow. What should happen is that’s the reception area, and then you can move them to the supportive housing facility that best meets that person’s needs. “

The plan includes outreach specialists who have yet to be hired at the police department and Memorial Health System to work at the facility, Langfelder said. These job descriptions are still being drafted, so it may take until September or October for the shelter to become fully operational.

Other items on the agenda

  • Acquisition of land totaling over $ 3.5 million on 9th and 10th Streets related to the ongoing Springfield rail improvement project.
  • An ordinance that would reallocate $ 1.4 million to the Springfield Fire Department budget that had previously been slashed during the budgeting process in February. The money for the reallocation of the budget will be provided by the dollars the city received from the US federal bailout law.
  • An intergovernmental co-funding agreement with the US Geological Survey for the continuous monitoring of nutrients and suspended sediments in Lick and Sugar creeks for a total of $ 767,600. The USGS will pay $ 251,643 of the cost and Springfield will pay the remainder over a five-year period if the order is enacted.

Contact Riley Eubanks: [email protected],


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