Missouri House approves business loan program extension

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 | 6:55 a.m. CDT; updated 9:35 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 16, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House of Representatives has approved a permanent extension of a low-interest loan program for farmers and small businesses.

Tuesday's House vote sends the measure to the state Senate.

The legislation would remove the scheduled December 2015 expiration from the Missouri Linked Deposit Program. The program deposits state money in banks, which then loan it to qualifying businesses and farmers at lower-than-usual rates.

Loans which are approved yearly for up to five years are available with five-year fixed rates.

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel says the permanent extension will give banks more certainty that they can keep offering the low rates. Zweifel's office says the program has lent more than $550 million and affected nearly 9,000 jobs and farmers in the past two years.

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