Accessing capital and locating funding are often the most difficult tasks for any company seeking to develop their products and services and grow their company. MCILEDC can work with your company to ease the credit crunch by identifying your needs and then helping to secure financing opportunities that will meet your present needs and prepare you for future growth. Loan proceeds in most cases can be used, with some exceptions, to finance real estate purchase, construction, or renovation of a building; purchase of furniture, fixtures, machinery, and equipment; working capital costs; and in some cases, debt refinance. MCILEDC can also refer you to various banks in the region who are willing to partner with the loan and guarantee programs listed below. MCILEDC stands ready to help start the process with the following programs. Contact us for help in accessing these loan and guarantee programs.

IL DCEO Advantage Illinois Loan Program. A state loan program that provides access to capital to start new companies and expand existing businesses.  Program helps to mitigate risk by purchasing portions of a bank loan, and subordinating exposure to that of the lending entity. Advantage Illinois offers two programs.

  • Participation Loan Program (PLP) – helps Illinois businesses get loan financing at lower rates by purchasing a portion of the loan and lowering the risk for the lenders.
  • Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) – provides a guarantee of partial principal repayment to the lender if a loan goes into default.
  • Funding Levels for Participation Loan: There are no  term loan fees for borrower or lender from Advantage Illinois ( (Lenders can still  apply their normal fees) 
  • Standard: Lesser of 25% of project, 50% of the loan, or $2M.  Maximum terms 7 years Maximum term is 7 years.  Participation levels are $50K  per one full time job created or retained in two years. . 
  • SEDI (Socially and Economically Disadvantaged individuals) : Lesser of 50% of the project, 50% of the loan, or $2M. Maximum term 7 years. Participation levels are $65K per one  full time job created or retained in 2 years. 
  • Allowable Uses of Funda:  Including but not limited to purchase of land; construction or renovation of buildings; business procurement;  start-up costs. (must be 51% or more occupied by the business); inventory; working capital; purchase and installation of machinery and equipment; leasehold improvements; accounts receivable. Program can also be used in conjunction with a Small Business Administration (SBA) 7A and SBA 504 loan. 
  • Eligible recipients: Small businesses & entrepreneurs 750 employees or less worldwide, that are clear of any back taxes; be in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State; and have no bankruptcies, material adverse judgements, or liens in the past 5 years.  Not eligible business cannabis, investment real estate, tobacco adult entertainment/gambling.
  • Special Priorities for program assistance:  to underrepresented populations who have faced significant barriers accessing capitals such racial prejudice, cultural bias, gender, veteran  status, member of Indian tribes,  limited English proficiency;  or long-term residence in an isolated environment from mainstream American society, in rural community, community undergoing economic transitions, or a location owned/controlled by individuals who reside in a CDFI investment area. 
  • How to Apply: Businesses do not apply directly to the program but must use a participating lender, and your lender will submit your application to DCEO. You can view the list of our participating lenders to connect with a lender. Participating lenders accept business applications on a rolling basis and use their own underwriting standards and loan processes. If your local lender isn’t on the participating lender list, point them to the web site or email CEO.SSBCI@illinois.gov, to get a Master Agreement or schedule a meeting with an ILDCEO Loan Manager.

SBA (504) Loans: This Small Business Administration (SBA) program provides businesses with long term, fixed rate financing for major assets, such as lands and buildings. Typically, a 504 project includes a loan secured with a senior line from a private sector lender covering up to 59% of the project cost; a loan secured with a junior lien from a local or regional community development corporation (backed by a 100% SBA-guaranteed debenture) covering up to 40% of the cost and a contribution of at least 10% equity from the small business being helped.

Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) Guaranty loan program:  SBA 7(a) loans are the most basic and most used type of loan of SBA’s programs. SBA 7(a) loans are only available on a guaranty basis. Providing lenders must structure loans by SBA requirements. SBA does not fully guarantee 7(a) loans. The lender and SBA share the risk that a borrower will not be able to repay. The guaranty is a guarantee against payment default.

Industrial Revenue Bonds. Southwestern Illinois  Development Authority (SWIDA) acts as the issuer of  industrial revenue bonds, passing its DOUBLE tax-exempt status on to qualifying projects. The SWIDA Double Tax-Exempt Bond is exempt from state and federal income taxes, making it an attractive investment for the bondholder. The interest rate available on these bonds is far lower than conventional financing, and a lender can expect interest savings to range from 150 – 300 basis points lower than a conventional loan. The borrower receives a preferential interest rate, generating substantial savings. Although primarily focused on manufacturing, projects can sometimes be pursued for qualifying senior housing, not-for-profit companies, and local governments.

  • Qualifying Applicants. Manufacturing companies who plan to make  capital improvements on a site located in the territory of SWIDA consisting of the counties of Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair. (Randolph County is served by Southern Illinois Economic Development Authority (SIDA). MCEDC staff will also help projects in that area to access SIDA’s bonding authority.)
  • Eligible Use of Funds. At least 75% of the bond proceeds must be used for expenditures directly related to the manufacturing process: new construction of mfg. plant,  land acquisition, building acquisition if 15% or more used to rehab structure, acquisition of equipment used in manufacturing process.  No more than 25% may be used for ancillary facilities such as warehouse or office space.
  • Funding Levels. The maximum bond amount cannot exceed $10 million. The borrower’s capital expenditures cannot be greater than $20 million (except with a lease) in the city where the project is located. 

USDA Rural Development Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan. This program bolsters the availability of private credit by guaranteeing loans for rural businesses.

  • Eligible applicants:  For profit or nonprofit businesses, cooperatives, federally recognized Tribes , public bodies; eligible rural businesses (must be citizens of U.S. and loan funds must remain in U.S.) who will create and retain jobs in rural U.S. 
  • Maximum amount of loan guarantee: 80% for loans of $5M or less; 70% for loans between $5M and $10M; 60% for loans exceeding $10M; up to $25M maximum.
  • Interest Rates and Terms. Fixed or variable negotiated; variable rates cannot be adjusted more often than quarterly; loan terms cannot exceed 40 years. Work directly with lenders year-round on applications. 
  • Eligible Uses of Funds  For business development, growth, modernization, conversion, or repair; to buy and develop land, buildings, land easements, rights of way, and associated infrastructure for commercial or industrial use; to buy and install machinery, do equipment leasehold improvements; acquire supplies and inventory; to refinance debt to create cash flow and create jobs; to acquire businesses or industries when the loan will not maintain operations; and to create or save jobs. (Not eligible: lines of credit; owner-occupied or rental housing;  golf courses, or golf course infrastructure; racetracks or gambling facilities; churches or church-controlled organizations; fraternal organizations; lending, investment, or insurance companies;  agricultural production; payment or distribution to a beneficiary of a borrower, or to an  entity that retains ownership interest in the borrower.)
  • Eligible Lenders: Federal or state-chartered banks; savings and loans; farm credit banks; credit unions.
  • What is a Rural Area? Areas that are  not in cities or towns with populations of more than 50,000, and adjacent urbanized areas. A borrower’s headquarters can be based in a larger city, as long as the project itself is in an eligible rural area.  Eligible lenders can be located anywhere in the U.S. (Local and Regional Food System Initiative projects can be funded in both rural and urban areas.)

Rural Economic Development Loan Program (REDLG). The REDLG program provides funding to rural projects through local utility organizations.  Under the REDLG program, USDA provides zero interest loans to local utilities, who in turn, pass through to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.  

  • Qualifying Applicants: Utility organizations (like Monroe County Electric Cooperative ) apply for funds on behalf of an eligible project in its service area. MCEC would pass thru funds as a loan to a company with an eligible project. The business repays loan to utility and the utility in turn is responsible for repayment to the Agency (USDA). 
  • Funding Levels: Term of loan is 10 years; maximum amount is $2m, with 0% interest.
  • Special Program requirements:  Time frame from MCEC application USDA to release of funds by MCEC, could be 9-12 months at a maximum, could be less.  Projects may commence after application submission, but since there is no guarantee of approval, project proceeds at own risk. 

Red Bud Revolving Micro-Loan Program. This program provides loans to small businesses with no minimum requirements for job  creation or retention. The focus  of these low interest loans  is small projects  such as roof replacements, HVAC replacements, small expansion projects, and operating expenses. Program designed to provide gap funding and be a financing partner with a business’s equity and primary lending institution. To retain and attract new industry and retail business  Based on need and ability to repay.

  • Eligible Applicants: Eligible industrial, commercial, and retail businesses to include existing, start-ups, and relocations, within the corporate limits of Red Bud  IL. 
  • Funding levels: Matching funds of at least one dollar of private funds for each dollar of program funds are required. 
  • Eligible activities: Acquisition of land, buildings, equipment and other fixed assets; the construction, expansion or remodeling of buildings.  (Not eligible: refinancing, acquisition of rolling stock; design, promotional activities and legal fees or other soft costs. )
  • Interest rate. The interest rate for the program is established by the Red Bud Economic Development Commission and the Red Bud City Council and is subject to change. Usually not higher than 5% annually. Term no longer than 5 years. 
  • Funding Availability.  For more information go to Micro-loan Guidelines.  Applications  are available on an ongoing basis and can be found  on the city’s website at  Micro Loan application.  Completed applications will be evaluated in in order received. 

Red Bud Revolving Loan Fund. The primary goal of this program is to create and retain jobs within Red Bud. To be eligible for funding, a min. of 51% must fall into the low to moderate income category. Projects must meet one of the following arguments to be considered.

  • There is a financing gap. 
  • Rate of return on project insufficient to induce development. 
  • Firm is considering multi-state location options
  • Eligible Applicants. Not for profit and for profit businesses that can demonstrate a need and located (or will locate) within the corporate limits of Red Bud. 
  • Funding Levels: The program provides up to $20,000  in low interest funds  for each FTE  job created or retained as part of the business,  amount not to exceed  50%  of  total project costs.
  • Interest Rate and terms: Interest rate is established by Red Bud Economic Development Commission and the City Council. 
  • Eligible Activities. Land, building, machinery, and equipment; construction and renovation; working capital (not eligible: refinancing of existing debt, relocation of a business within Illinois, exploratory/tentative projects.)  
  • Funding Availability. Applications available on an ongoing basis. For more information go to program summary.   Loan applications can be found at Revolving Loan Application.