By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
What started as a plan to boost economic development in Floyd County has resulted in $1 million in loans handed out to 22 local businesses in just four years.
The Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County recently passed the $1 million threshold with a return to its roots.
The foundation awarded PTG Silicones Inc. a loan that pushed the program to the $1 million mark. The New Albany company was also the first business to receive a loan from the foundation back in 2009.
PTG Silicones is an example of the type of business the loans were intended to benefit because the company has expanded and added employees, Horseshoe Foundation Executive Director Jerry Finn said.
“The whole idea is to grow your business, to add employees or to increase the tax base,” he said.
After agreeing to back the construction of the Floyd County branch of the YMCA of Southern Indiana with a $20 million grant, Finn said the organization elected to implement the loan program as a second step toward supporting Scribner Place.
“They felt this could be the economic catalyst for downtown,” Finn said of the New Albany Y.
While several of the businesses that have received loans are located in downtown New Albany, the program is open to all Floyd County establishments, Finn said.
New Albany Springs Golf Course, the New Albanian Brewing Co. and River City Workwear are among the local businesses that have received Horseshoe loans.
There’s a floor of 3 percent on the interest rates for the loans, and they range from $5,000 up to $50,000.
The Horseshoe Foundation joined forces with One Southern Indiana and the Southeast Indiana Small Business Development Center, or ISBDC, to implement the loan program.
One Southern Indiana assists with documentation and other application tasks, Finn said.
“One Southern Indiana was the perfect partner for this,” he said.
ISBDC assists with applications as well and also monitors the business after they receive a loan, he continued.
“They really help the business work through the process,” Finn said.
Blayr Barnard, regional director of the Southeast ISBDC, said the organization is proud to be involved with one of the most successful revolving loan fund programs in the state.
“We have worked with well over 100 clients to determine eligibility since its inception and have provided over 600 hours of assistance at absolutely no cost to the client,” she said, as Barnard added ISBDC also aided businesses in leveraging the loans into more than $3.5 million in traditional and equity financing.
“That is a huge economic impact for Southern Indiana.”
As businesses pay back their loans, the program should continue to have funds available for local businesses to borrow, Finn said.
“The plan is for this to continue as long as there’s a need,” he said.
For information on applying for a loan, contact Kathleen Crowley with 1si by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 812-945-0266.