2015-02-11 / Front Page

City extends program to fund local business


A program created to activate the local economy by providing low interest loans to people interested in opening or expanding small businesses was given another vote of approval during Tuesday’s meeting of the city commission.

It’s called the Small Business Revolving Loan Program administrated by a consulting firm Reyna & Associates.

Since it creation more than a year ago, about a dozen people have applied for loans worth thousands of dollars either to open new businesses or to expand their operations.

Some applications have been approved, some withdrew for unknown reasons and some loan applications were not approved.

The city commission hired the consulting firm under a $36,000-a-year contract and voted to extend it for another year.

With a balance of $20,000, the $420,000 allocated for the program is nearing its completion.

The city received a grant for $276,000, while the rest came from EDC funds.

An application for a second grant has been submitted to the USDA.

On Monday, the board of the Raymondville Economic Development Corp. also approved extending the consulting contract for another year.

The two boards have approved two more loans applications through SBRLP.

One was for Laura’s Floral Design which sought a loan for $35,000 at 3 percent interest for 10 years.

The other was for Alma Villarreal of “Let’s Roll Driving School” for $10,000 under the same terms.

The driving school will open in the Raymondville Rural Technology Center across the high school.

Once in operation, anyone interested in taking such course will no longer have to go out of town to do so.

The commission approved a request made by Sandra Nieto, associate vice president at Texas State Technical School to buy books for the 2015 GED classes at the center.

Nieto said funding for the program has been reduced and asked the commission to help them buy the books.

In another action, the commission approved up to $100,000 to remodel the L.E. Frank Tourist Center.

The city will advertise setting up a public hearing to hear what the public have to say about investment of the money in the tourist center.

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