Whitley County EDC Retires $1 Million to Small Businesses Through Revolving Loan Fund

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (August 3, 2021) — The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Revolving Loan Program (RLF) has retired more than $1 Million to Whitley EDC Small Business and Entrepreneurship Initiative (SBEI) clients in the last 10 years.

The revolving loans have helped more than 25 small businesses in Churubusco, Columbia City, Larwill and South Whitley by providing financial capital to help with any growth or start-up expense, excluding payroll and salaries.

The Whitley EDC revolving loan program was initially started with support from the County Commissioners and the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) dollars, and a USDA Rural Development grant awarded $74,250 to the Whitley EDC to support the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Initiative. Since the loans are revolving, each payment made back into the loan helps other applicants for future use.

Often, startup companies and early entrepreneurs cannot secure funding through banks or other traditional loans, which allows Whitley EDC to work with businesses to help with their success.

“Retiring more than $1 Million back to Whitley County businesses says a lot about Whitley EDC’s commitment to bettering communities and supporting startup and small businesses,” said Dale Buuck, Whitley EDC president.

RLF applications are available to any start-up business or small business in Whitley County. SITES Medical is a medical device industry company that received a loan during their startup phase before opening their new headquarters in Park 30.

Local small business Running Around Screen Printing was one of the first businesses to use the revolving loan and used the program throughout their transition to a storefront to support equipment needs and more.

“As the business grew, we were able to use an RLF loan to help fill larger orders, which led to customer relationships we still fill today. The process for an RLF was easy and the Whitley EDC was great to partner with for the guidance they provided,” said JoAnn Bird, owner of Running Around Screen Printing.

In addition to assisting start-ups, the RLF program helped an already established local Churubusco business move to main street and provide confidence.  

“The EDC believed in me as much as I believed in myself and gave me a chance. The loan conditions gave me time to do what was best for my business and my family while we grew and made some changes,” said Angela Enright, owner of Sew What.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the heart of our communities. Loaning small businesses financial capital during the past 10 years has been instrumental in many businesses’ success and continues to make a difference.

MooOver, the only plant-based ice creamery in the state, was awarded a loan to help with equipment costs to grow business. Julie Hurd, chef and business owner of MooOver, has made small-batch ice cream since 2018, before launching her business on a larger scale.

“It’s an opportunity that shows the community really supports small businesses. I was able to pay for equipment and have even more plans to expand in the future because of our success,” Hurd said.  

Another local business, which started in Whitley County, has expanded to three locations in three different counties. Music Encounters offers vocal, instrumental and band practices for anyone older than four years old.

“When we started, we didn’t have many options for financial capital and the RLF is just what we needed when we were growing,” said Bill Dittlinger, owner of Music Encounters.

Any business physically located within the limits of Whitley County can apply for an RLF. Applicants must meet with Whitley EDC staff and an SBEI consultant before completing an application. Loans are approved by the Investment Board, made up of consultants, community members and county elected officials. Applications for traditional RLF and COVID relief funds are accepted until the money is committed.

“The leadership of our predecessors to apply for the initial grant has offered so much to our programming. The ability to provide funding for small businesses is something I’m glad the Whitley EDC is able to still provide,” Buuck said.

Each business in this news release was shared with the business owner’s consent. To learn more about the Whitley EDC RLF program, visit whitelyedc.com or call 260.244.5506.
# # #
About Whitley EDC
The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development agency in Whitley County, Indiana. The Whitley EDC works closely with local, regional and state partners to support our industry clients’ growth and success. Our mission is to lead a comprehensive economic development strategy that builds and retains wealth, expands opportunities and attracts capital investment to Whitley County.  The Whitley EDC was established in 1992 and represents Whitley County, Columbia City, and the towns of Churubusco, Larwill and South Whitley. For more information about the Whitley EDC visit whitleyedc.com.
Media Contacts
Dale Buuck, Whitley EDC President, dbuuck@whitleyedc.com
Kennedy Saggars, Whitley EDC Marketing Director, ksaggars@whitleyedc.com