CEDA Assists Mantorville, MN In Encouraging More Local Businesses to Take Advantage of RLF Funds

Article by: Abby Wright

At the City of Mantorville, MN’s July 2019 Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting, the EDA approved guidelines and application documents, drafted by Abby Wright, Community Grant Specialist of CEDA, for the City’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to provide financing for businesses emerging and expanding within the City. The RLF has existed in Mantorville since 2012 as a result of a $31,000 EDA contribution plus a $29,000 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) authored by CEDA’s Vice President, Chris Giesen.

Since then, the City had been using a USDA reporting form as the RLF application. When Wright began her contract with Mantorville in January, City Clerk Treasurer, Cami Reber, expressed that the RLF application needed updating.

To create the new documents, Wright borrowed some of her favorite language and formatting from six other CEDA communities’ RLF documents, then ensured she was complying with RBEG requirements and her EDA’s intentions for the program. Wright requested and received input from Giesen during the process and, over the course of several Board meetings, asked her EDA questions she and Giesen thought were pertinent for clarification and accuracy.

“Getting Chris’s feedback and having CEDA team members’ examples to go by really helped me create a comprehensive RLF application and required supplements,” Wright said. She notes that having internal samples as guides has helped her with multiple projects since she started with CEDA last year.

The 12-page Mantorville RLF document includes the history and purpose of the program; eligible and non-eligible uses of the funds; borrower requirements; loan details; a checklist of materials the applicant needs to include; an explanation of the loan review process and other considerations; the anti-discrimination policy, privacy disclosure, and environmental requirements set forth by RBEG; and the application itself with instructions for the applicant. Wright’s goal was to make the application packet and process as clear and clean as possible.

While the purpose of the Mantorville Revolving Loan Fund remains unchanged, the revamped guidelines and application are intended to be more user-friendly to encourage new and existing businesses to take advantage of the fund.