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New nonprofit will aid Joplin businesses

Monday, June 20, 2011 | 4:57 p.m. CDT; updated 2:48 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 19, 2011

JOPLIN — A new nonprofit group aims to raise up to $10 million to attract new businesses to tornado-stricken areas of Joplin and help existing companies recover from the disaster.

Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth and Sen. Roy Blunt joined members of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday to announce creation of the Joplin Tomorrow Foundation.

Hundreds of businesses were damaged or destroyed by the May 22 tornado that has now claimed 154 lives in the southwestern Missouri city.

The new, private foundation will provide low- to no-interest loans to businesses locating, recovering or expanding in the damage zone. The Chamber has contributed $25,000 toward the effort, and the Danforth Foundation has made a $500,000 grant.

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