MadREP: Launches rural revolving loan fund

Madison, WI –The Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) today announced the launch of their revolving loan fund (RLF), focusing on entrepreneurs and growing businesses in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Iowa, Green, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk Counties. 
The new funding source will increase access to capital for Madison Region businesses and is designed to provide gap financing, which will supplement loan funds from traditional lending sources and allow projects to move forward. This RLF will support projects creating or retaining jobs and tax base in rural communities.

“Launching the South-Central WI Revolving Loan Fund enhances our economic development portfolio, introducing more tools to empower our residents and make our Region more competitive,” said MadREP President & CEO Jason Fields. “In developing the fund, MadREP wanted to create opportunity for businesses historically disenfranchised from traditional funding sources, especially rural entrepreneurs.”

“CCEDC is pleased to be able to transfer the USDA Revolving Loan Fund to MadREP, providing rural businesses in rural communities with more entrepreneurial opportunities within the MadREP Region,” said Cheryl Fahrner, Executive Director for CCEDC. “We have assisted over 2,146 entrepreneurs with their questions and provided vital information and links to resources. CCEDC is proud to have assisted 21 entrepreneurs start businesses with gap financing in Columbia County through its USDA Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). CCEDC established the RLF over the last 20 years, by acquiring three USDA grant awards for a total of $324,210.00. To advance efforts to support more economic development and spur entrepreneurship in rural areas, CCEDC contacted the USDA to express interest in transferring its RLF to MadREP.”  

Andy Ross, President for CCEDC said, “CCEDC is part of the MadREP region. As CCEDC continues to adapt how it operates in these challenging times, this will allow entrepreneurs and employers in Columbia County to continue to benefit from 30+ years of work by our staff and countless volunteers who have contributed their time and expertise. We believe in entrepreneurship and strong, collaborative partnerships. Transferring the $324,210.00 RLF will provide a new source for gap financing, for more entrepreneurs. We wish to thank MadREP for accepting this transfer, so the funds may continue to be used in the region.”  

Anyone wishing to learn more about the RLF should contact Fields at MadREP. “I can’t stress enough how critical CCEDC’s support has been in launching our fund,” he added. “Now that we’re off the ground, we’ll be seeking other investors who share CCEDC’s commitment to a prosperous future for rural Wisconsin. I’d also like to extend a special thank you to Lorrie Heinemann of Madison Development Corporation and Joaquin Altoro during his time with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority for their mentorship throughout this process.”