ST. CHARLES – July 17, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will improve access to small business loans for Illinois’ Veterans. The state’s current small business loan program provides assistance to business owners who are minorities, women or people with disabilities. The new law extends eligibility for this loan program to Veteran-owned small businesses.
“Small businesses employ millions of people throughout Illinois and are the backbone of our economy - we must do everything possible to support them,” said Governor Quinn. “This important new law will help create jobs and support small businesses owned by the brave men and women who served our country.”
Senate Bill 3817 expands eligibility of the state’s Minority, Women, and Disabled Participation Loan Program (MWD/PLP) to include small businesses at least 51 percent owned and managed by an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the United States Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Plainfield) and Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills).
The MWD/PLP is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and provides eligible small businesses with loans of up to $50,000 or 50 percent of the total project.
The loans may be used for a number of business activities, such as purchase and installation of machinery and equipment, working capital, purchase of land, and construction or renovation of buildings. Funds cannot be used for debt refinancing or contingency funding. Eligible businesses must have fewer than 500 full-time employees and meet the criteria of a minority-, women- or disabled-owned business.
The legislation passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and takes effect immediately.