The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines) announced the finalists for the Strong Communities Award which included the MICRO loan program in Cedar Rapids. The award honors the projects, people, and programs that promote local small business growth and retention.
Hills Bank and Trust Company, a FHLB Des Moines member financial institution and supporter of MICRO, worked with MICRO partners to apply for the award. It is one of three finalists competing in the urban category for $15,000 to be used to further promote economic development opportunities in their community. The winners of the award will be determined through a public vote.
The MICRO loan program is a public-philanthropic partnership developed to revitalize core neighborhoods following the historic 2008 floods. Working as a revolving loan fund, the program supports local entrepreneurs through microloans. To date, the MICRO program has awarded 14 loans and created or saved over 50 jobs. It is a City of Cedar Rapids program that is administered by the East Central Iowa Council of Governments. Other partners include Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Cedar Rapids Public Library, SCORE and the Kirkwood Small Business Development Center.
Hills Bank and Trust Company is one of ten financial institutions that have provided financial support to the program. Other financial institution supporters include: Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Collins Community Credit Union, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, Bankers Trust, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank Iowa, Community 1st Credit Union, and Dupaco Credit Union.
“We are excited to announce the MICRO Loan Program as a finalist for our Strong Communities Award,” said Mike Wilson, president and CEO, FHLB Des Moines. “The program demonstrated a strong commitment to small business growth and retention. We wish them the best of luck as we enter the public voting period.”
The public will have the opportunity to vote for finalists from Sept. 10 – Sept. 14, 2018. FHLB Des Moines challenges communities to rally behind their project by visiting the Strong Communities Award homepage at www.fhlbdm.com/award. The voting will serve as a component of the selection process to choose the winners. The winner in each category, urban and rural, will be awarded $15,000. The runner-up in each category will be awarded $3,000.
If awarded the funding, it would be used to provide more microloans for Cedar Rapids entrepreneurs and small businesses.
For more information on the FHLB Des Moines Strong Communities Award visit www.fhlbdm.com/award.
For more information about the MICRO Loan Program, visit http://www.ecicog.org/micro.html.