Fund helping two local business expand

Two local business projects are being partially funded by the Wapakoneta Revolving Loan Fund (RLF).

According to Wapakoneta area economic development council executive director, Greg Myers, Good Food, Inc. has been granted a $100,000 loan for equipment, which is less than eight percent of the total projected cost for the new Happy Daz restaurant. This project is set to be finished in late March.

The other project the RLF is assisting is an expansion to the Wapakoneta Shell Station. Bryan Hutchinson is receiving a loan for $75,000 for equipment, which is 19.6 percent of the total projected costs.

Myers explained that to get an RLF loan business owners need to present the board of five volunteer members with proof of the job creation the project will bring to the Wapakoneta community.

“Typically what happens is someone who is already doing business in Wapakoneta or someone who is coming new into the community have a project in mind, the financing for the project has what we refer to as a gap, like a space between owner equity and private sector bank loan,” Myers said. “The federally funded RLF programs are there to help fill that gap.”

Myers said loan amounts depend on the amount of full-time positions the project will create.

“We are allowed to loan up to $25,000 per full-time job created, so if a project comes to us and it’s going to only create four full-time jobs in the community then the maximum we could engage is $100,000, but we don’t have to do that maximum,” he said.

The five member board is appointed by the mayor, and that group decides on the applications that are received as to which projects they want to participate in, and what the dollar amount and terms for the loan would be.

Myers said the overall feeling toward these projects is a positive one.

“Both of them are pluses to the community because they do create new jobs and provide services or enhance a service that is already in the community,” he said.

Myers shared that Happy Daz is something that people have suggested over the years, and that it was a good thing to be able to finally have found the right location, and worked out the particulars with John Heaphy, and his company.

“We’ve got a fairly small role in that project (Happy Daz),” Myers said. “It’s a project that’s going to create 12 full-time jobs and 25 part-time jobs over the next two years.”

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 8 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.