Federal Stimulus Funds Arrive for Cook County

Business loan funds arrive

By Steve Rhodes
|  Wednesday, Nov 11, 2009  |  Updated 12:35 PM CDT
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Federal Stimulus Funds Arrive for Cook County

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For at least a handful of businesses in Cook County seeking capital, the cavalry may be here.

More than $196 million in federal stimulus funds have been directed to the county in the form of tax-exempt bonds, which can be used to facilitate low-interest loans to qualifying businesses.

And not all businesses qualify. For example, massage parlors, tanning centers and casinos need not apply.

But outside of that, go for it.

"We're basically a conduit," John Schneider, a county economic development official, told the Daily Herald. "The company is doing something that helps with redevelopment and re-energizing jobs within the county. They do their financing with a bank."

Still, the county is responsible for reviewing applications, which will be taken from Nov. 16 to Jan. 18.

Details of the plan are expected to be posted on the county's website on Monday, but Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is scheduled to hold a press conference at 10 a.m. today in Des Plaines to officially kick off the program.

The county says it plans to use at least 30 percent of the funds for projects in regions with below-area median income or unemployment rates above 8.7 percent.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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