Tag Archives: Economic Development Agency

Revolving Loan Fund: Growing Jobs in Roane County – Nov 2018

{Amber Cofer, Loan Manager & Jennifer Suter, Reporting Officer}

In 1987, Roane County Government received Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) from the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA) for the establishment of the Roane County Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.

These funds were obtained to provide low-interest loans to local businesses, create new jobs, retain existing jobs and aid small business development. In essence, Roane County will act as a “bank” and accept the responsibilities of a commercial lender when making an RFL loan to a local business.

This program allows Roane County to play an active role in helping to create jobs and expand the business base in our community. Currently, our portfolio consists of 14 active loans and 23 loans that have been fully repaid. Each business loan is classified as a fixed asset or working capital loan. In a fixed asset loan, the money is used for the construction or renovation of real property or the purchase of equipment. Proceeds from a working capital loan are used to fund the day to day operations of a business, typical of a startup.

As of June 30, 2018, Roane County has invested $2,877,604 in local business and has generated $449,923 in interest income. There have been 871 jobs created and 369 jobs saved. Roane County’s EDA Board consists of members of the community who have specialized knowledge of lending and economic development. The County Executive serves as chair, the Board also includes a representative from the Industrial Development Board, a local bank officer, and two area business owners. This board approves loans that make it past the general vetting process before any funds are distributed. Because this involves federal funding, the County files a semiannual report to the US Department of Commerce to ensure appropriate internal control structures are being followed.

To be considered eligible for these funds, you must be establishing or expanding a business within the boundaries of the Roane County EDA plan. Hopefully, this article has given a bit of background on what this important program does and, more importantly, how it’s helping grow the economy of our wonderful county.

If you would like more information on the requirements and eligible activities regarding the EDA Loan, you may contact the EDA Loan Manager, Amber Cofer at the County Executive’s Office at 865.717.4103 or come by the County Executive’s Office and pick up an information packet.