LISC, State Farm announce $10 million fund to help central Illinois small businesses, non-profits

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local companies are working together to revive area businesses and nonprofits in central Illinois.

On Tuesday, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and State Farm announced a Good Neighbor Partnership to help central Illinois small businesses and nonprofits work through the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the partnership, State Farm is providing a $10 million low-cost loan to LISC, helping regional businesses from Peoria to Urbana. With State Farm’s loan, LISC will establish a Small Business Rescue Fund that will enable loans to be distributed to small businesses and nonprofit social enterprises for urgent needs, including operational costs like paying employees, vendors, and rent.

“We understand the importance of small businesses and realize they are the cornerstone of the community.” Karen Davis, Executive Director of LISC Central Illinois states. “The Rescue Loan Fund will provide capital to help businesses become operational again.”

The fund will target the following entities, which represent those most in need of capital infusion:

  • Women-, minority-, and veteran-led small businesses that provide vital goods, services, and jobs in communities most in danger of permanent closure
  • Nonprofit social enterprises with revenues of less than $5 million
  • Small Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with missions to support small businesses

“State Farm’s commitment will allow LISC to provide reduced costs to borrowers associated with underwriting, closing, and servicing loans,” said State Farm Area Vice President and LISC Chicago Board Member Amy Isuani. “This is important as the risk profile is higher for small business loans, and given the interruption in the economy, underwriting requires a higher level of due diligence within a much shorter time period.”

For more information, contact Davis at KDavis@lisc.org.

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