JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Some Missourians who suffered economic or physical losses from the continued flooding or devastating tornadoes across the state could receive additional assistance through a new linked deposit loan program, Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick announced Thursday.
The program — called LIFT: Linked Deposits to Invest and Fund a Timely Recovery — can provide loans of up to $2 million for small business owners and farmers located in areas with designated disaster declarations by FEMA. The LIFT program doubled what is offered under Missouri FIRST, the traditional linked deposit program.
Fitzpatrick said his office has a goal of responding to a LIFT loan request within 24 hours. The low-interest program is available beginning Thursday and can be used in conjunction with other assistance and relief offered at the federal level or elsewhere. Under the program’s umbrella, qualified Missourians will also be able to refinance existing debt — something that is not offered under Missouri FIRST.
The treasurer touted the program as a “great example” of how the government can work with the private sector instead of creating a “roadblock” for citizens.
“We want those impacted by the storm and the flooding to get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” Fitzpatrick told reporters. “This is good for individuals, this is good for communities, and it’s overall good for the state’s economy.”
Fitzpatrick announced the new program from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry building Thursday morning in downtown Jefferson City. The building suffered damage in from the EF-3 tornado that hit the capital city in May.
“It’s great to see the private sector and the public sector working in unison, to have government and business working together to try to have this recovery reach its true fruition,” Daniel Mehan, the Chamber’s president and CEO said.
Loan rates will be determined by the participating banks and lending companies which will also assess the credit risk of the borrower. Individuals will need to provide proof of economic injury or damages to qualify for the LIFT program as well, such as insurance records, photographs, or sworn affidavits.
FEMA has issued disaster declarations for 26 counties in Missouri: Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Miller, Mississippi, New Madrid, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Platte, Pulaski, Ray, St. Charles, and St. Genevieve.
As counties are added to FEMA’s disaster declaration list, then individuals in those places would be able to apply for a loan under the LIFT program.
“Traditional” linked deposit rules are in place for this program as well, Fitzpatrick said. Individuals must be up-to-date on his or her taxes and cannot be a convicted felon to receive a linked deposit loan.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in March 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.