Loans help Lake Geneva businesses to improve

Grants available for storefront remodeling

By Chris Schultz/ The Janesville Gazette

(Published Oct. 31, 2006, 12:38 p.m.)

The Geneva Lake Development Corp. recently created a $200,000 revolving fund to provide low-interest loans or grants to help local businesses improve their facilities or remodel their buildings.

Loan payments and interest paid will go back into the fund and be used for future business growth, said Joe Cardiff, development corporation director.

Funding for the grant and loan program came from sale of lots in the Lake Geneva Business Park, Cardiff said. The program is for all Lake Geneva businesses, he said.

The loan program is intended to help small businesses that fall short of financing necessary to complete capital projects for their facilities, Cardiff said.

"What we're looking for is someone who's starting up or who's started and needs to expand," Cardiff said of the loan program.

The loans may be used to expand a business's building, buy land for expansion or purchase new equipment. It can't be used for salaries or to repay other loans.

Retail business owners can also apply for grants up to $2,500 to help pay for the design or remodeling of store fronts. Grants will be preapproved but paid out only when the remodeling work is completed, Cardiff said.

"It's to encourage retailers to polish up the fronts of their buildings," Cardiff said. The grants may be combined with loans for a complete remodeling project, he said.

So far, there have been no applicants, Cardiff said.

Cardiff said the development corporation created the program to fill in for a state program that does the same thing.

Lake Geneva doesn't have the state program because property values and average area income exceeds state qualification guidelines, Cardiff said.

For more information about the program call Cardiff at (262) 248-8938.





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