Revolving Loan Program
Loan Program Helps Businesses Succeed
One local Economic Development Authority Director calls the revolving loan program offered by the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council “the most valuable tool I have at my disposal.”
The loan programs available allow the regional council to assist nearly all businesses in Ritchie, Wood, Pleasants, Jackson, Calhoun, Roane, Tyler and Wirt counties. The loan options vary in their amounts and capabilities with a range from $2,000 to $150,000. In total, during the life of the MOVRC loan programs, a combined total of over $10.5 million has been disbursed. Those funds have leveraged more than $61 million in other public, private and owner’s equity funds.
Janelle Dotson, who oversees the program for the MOVRC, calls it extremely remarkable since the agency works very closely with economic development authorities, as well as focusing efforts on making sure businesses can succeed. They don’t just lend money. They confirm that businesses are ready to accept the money and use it for growth and additional revenue creation, not just allowing it to become another debt. The goal is to help businesses to grow by nurturing them and helping them realistically plan for the future. They set no one up for failure. The MOVRC is now tying the microloans (up to $15,000) to business training to assure that the fledgling businesses that borrow money have the skills needed to succeed. Such training is offered through the Small Business Development Center at WVU-Parkersburg. Online training also is an option.
These loans have been responsible for helping save a number of existing businesses and start up others. Without the MOVRC loan programs, a number of businesses would have closed their doors and a number of others would never have found the funding to begin and succeed.
The loans offer different possibilities, giving the lender more flexibility in how monies are secured and in the terms offered. It is many agencies working together to help businesses succeed. The revolving loans are usually made at a lower interest rate than conventional commercial loans. Yet, the MOVRC often partners funding with loans from local banks, each providing a portion of the loan package. This results in a lower ‘blended rate to the borrower.’ It also allows banks to help finance businesses that would not be funded if they were the sole lender.