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The City of East St. Louis and the National Development Council announce a new opportunity to create jobs and help expand small businesses. Facilitated by a $500,000 equity investment approved by City Council, the Grow East St. Louis Fund will make $2 million available in loans to small businesses in East St. Louis that are seeking to expand operations and create jobs.

The Grow East St. Louis Fund is a new initiative designed to offer flexible financing to local businesses. The program offers long-term fixed rate financing designed to minimize monthly payments to maximize cash flow. This approach allows East St. Louis businesses to both add and retain jobs.

The amount a business can borrower is subject to underwriting guidelines and loan fund availability. Once obtained, loan funds may be used for:

  • – Working Capital- to be repaid over 10 years
  • – Machinery and Equipment- to be repaid over 10 years
  • – Real estate acquisitions and or renovation of owner-occupied businesses- to be repaid over 25 years
  • – Tenant improvements- to be repaid over the life of the lease
  • – Refinance existing debts

“NDC has been a lender to small businesses for more than twenty-five years,” said Dan Marsh, CEO of NDC. “In every community where we work, there are successful business owners who are ready to expand but do not have access to necessary capital to grow their businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities. That is why we created the Grow America Fund.”

“The City of E. St. Louis is excited to partner with the National Development Council in bringing the Grow America Fund to the City” said Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks.  “We will use the Grow America Fund to expand the footprint of businesses within East St. Louis.  The City of East St. Louis is committed to those in our business community that have and continue to invest in this City.”

NDC launched the Grow America Fund in 1992, and operates in 37 communities across the US. GAF is an SBA Preferred Lender which entitles NDC to self-approve loans. We provide low cost capital to enable our borrowers to conserve cash flow and to improve their prospect for their long-term success