ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Businesses that have borrowed funds under Marion County’s microloan program, which was financed under a grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce, have paid back $3,141 on the loans as of the end of 2003, according to Marion County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman.
Bateman, who is a member of the county board that makes the loans, said the group tried to set the rate at an attractive 6 percent rate to help businesses with cash flow problems move on to stronger positions.
Christie Henry, microloan program manager with the South-Central Kansas Development District, an agency that manages programs in 14 counties from its Wichita office including administrating the Marion County microloans, said if a business doesn’t fulfill its need from the county program it might be able to move into a similar 8.75 percent loan through the South Central Kansas Economic Development District.
The county has applicants for the remaining $23,000 in state funding left, but once that is gone, it will be free to begin making loans from the money businesses must pay back in, Henry said. There will be administrative fees from the balance Bateman gave, she said.
The program is designed to be a revolving fund with the state grant initiating it, but the county being able to continue under its own terms as money is paid back in.
Megan Kilgore, executive director of the Hillsboro Management Board, is the contact designated by the Marion County Commission for businesses from anywhere in the county.
If a person wants to talk about options with Henry, she can be contacted at 1-800-326-8353.