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Article updated: 5/23/2013 3:42 PM

Schaumburg launches 'micro' loan program

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A longtime Schaumburg resident, still relatively new to having to pay a municipal property tax, felt his hackles rise when his April water bill included an announcement that the village was making forgivable loans of up to $10,000 to small business owners.

How could the village justify a property tax when it apparently has money to give away without guarantee of repayment, he wondered.

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But Community Planner Marisa Warneke explained that the new microenterprise loan program is funded through a federal Community Development Block Grant, not by village taxpayers.

Having received the money as a grant, the village could also award it as a grant. Instead, the village chose a program offering forgivable loans, allowing for the recapture of some if not most of the money, Warneke said.

From start to finish, the intention of the federal money is economic development. And businesses who accept a loan must guarantee the creation of at least one full-time job.

The loans for business startups or expansions can be used for advertising, leasing or purchase of property, or acquisition of inventory, equipment or software.

For more information, contact Warneke at (847) 923-3851 or mwarneke@ci.schaumburg.il.us.

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