COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt announced $10 million to new small business and agriculture investments through the Missouri FIRST (Financing Investment in our Rural, Small Business and Technology communities) initiative at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce this morning.
Small businesses, economic development, and agriculture leaders spoke today about the new program.
Missouri FIRST is partnering up with local lenders to provide low-interest financing to small business and agriculture investments.
"Many Missourians are working harder than ever before and still struggling to get by," Schmitt said. "Our renewed commitment to Main Street Missouri will mean more jobs and greater economic opportunity for these folks. Missouri FIRST is a commonsense way for us to support small businesses and farms with zero cost to taxpayers."
Missouri FIRST was launch last week after he met with many small business owners, farmers and community banks for a year about what could be done to improve the linked deposit program.
These new changes will be focused on cutting red tape, increasing access and making the application system more efficient.
The Missouri State Treasurer's Office will be working with local lender institutions to support the Missouri FIRST loans.
There are approximately 115 Missouri FIRST linked deposit lender with 350 branches through the state.
A list of lenders, program requirements, and guidelines can be found here.