Greater Jobs has new revolving loan fund

Published 9:45 am Friday, September 7, 2012

Albert Lea and Freeborn County economic development officials have a new tool in their toolbox.

The Albert Lea City Council and the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners, working with the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, have announced the formation of a revolving loan fund for economic development.

This fund will be managed by Greater Jobs Inc., which is part of ALEDA.

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The first loan, for $600,000, was given to AmTech Ingredients. AmTech recently purchased part of the Merrick’s of Minnesota plant in Albert Lea. AmTech aims to add at least 20 jobs to the area within two years, according to an ALEDA news release.

The new development loan fund was funded by a transfer of $200,000 from the city’s existing revolving loan account. Freeborn County also applied for and was awarded a $400,000 Minnesota Investment Fund grant that will be sent to the loan fund, too.

Don Palm, president of AmTech, praised the work of the city, county and ALEDA saying, “It is refreshing to see these groups working together for a common goal.”

He said AmTech is excited about the opportunity and is looking forward to continued success and job growth.

“The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners is pleased to have helped create these new jobs,” said Freeborn County Board Chairman Dan Belshan.

Belshan said Freeborn County is committed to helping create jobs and expand the local tax base.

Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen, who is also the ALEDA board president, said the development fund will be a tool officials can use for companies like AmTech and for future projects.

“This underscores the necessity for the community to work together in order to achieve the creation of good-paying jobs,” Rasmussen said.