From WILL - News Headlines -

Revolving Loans Offered to Struggling Nonprofits

Nonprofit groups in Central Illinois can start applying for low-interest loans of up to $15,000.

The loans are being distributed by the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, which received a $100,000 grant from the Marajen Stevick Foundation to run the program.

Joan Dixon, executive director of the Community Foundation, said the state's economic woes have had a ripple effect on many businesses, resulting in staff cuts and program reductions. Dixon said after reviewing more than 120 nonprofit groups, she found that the most pressing concern among struggling organizations was the state's five to six billion dollar backlog of unpaid bills. She said the loan is not meant to be a temporary solution.

"This would be a way - we hope - for a not-for-profit to bridge the gap between their situations right now, and when they get their state promised checks," she said. "If the situation is very dire, and $15,000 is just going to buy you another month, that might not be the right approach to take, but we would help them try to figure those kinds of things out."

Groups that apply for the loan would be charged a $25 dollar registration fee and required to show detailed financial records. The loans, which would carry a one to two percent interest rate, would have to be repaid within 12 months.

Dixon said she hopes the program can continue revolving in this way, so that many nonprofit groups can benefit from the loan.