IBJ Business News

State treasurer commits $500 million to new loans

    Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced a loan program that commits $500 million in new money to flow through local banking institutions to help individuals obtain loans at below-market rates.
    Frerichs was at the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton to introduce the program. The $500 million will fund the newly developed Community Uplift Program. It will provide money to lending institutions specifically to fund business growth or expansion. The capitalization also will support the Ag Invest program that helps family farmers and the Finally Home program that supports those who might not qualify for a traditional mortgage product. Finally Home can be used for first-time homebuyers.
    For more information, visit www.InvestinRuralIllinois.com.

IDOT seeks proposals for freight grants

    The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking project proposals for a new competitive grant program that aims to improve the mobility of freight at the local level. Applications are due April 6 for up to $225 million in National Highway Freight Program funds to be distributed through 2022.
    Administered by IDOT using federal funds, the competitive grant program is designed to implement the goals of the Illinois State Freight Plan to improve safety, boost efficiency and grow the economy.
    Successful proposals will include plans to reduce bottlenecks, improve freight-related safety, increase intermodal accessibility to freight corridors and enhance efficiency through the strategic deployment of technology.
    Eligible applicants include local, state or federal governmental agencies, metropolitan planning organizations and regional planning commissions. Project proposals from a private entity must have a public sponsor. Application and qualification information is available at idot.illinois.gov/ILFreight. Grant awards will be announced in June.