ALTON — The COVID-19 pandemic has helped locally-owned businesses learn to adapt — whether it be working from home or going to a more online environment, according to Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs.
“Being forced to adapt has forged creativity,” he said. “Some of that will go away when we get back to normal. But some of those changes will be beneficial for years to come.”
Frerichs said there has been “a lot of hurt due to the pandemic.” But he said he is already seeing signs Illinois is “building back stronger”.
“We need to make sure that our policies bring everyone along, especially those who were hit the hardest,” he said.
Frerichs said he visited Alton Thursday to talk to Riverbend area farmers who have participated in the state’s Agricultural Invest Loan Program.
“We think it’s an important investment for the state,” Frerichs said. “When we help farmers expand their operation or modernize their operation, that makes for a stronger Illinois.”
Since 1983, the treasurer’s office has provided loan opportunities for Illinois farmers through Ag Invest by partnering with approved financial institutions to provide qualified farmers, agri-business and agriculture professionals below-market rate loans to start, expand or add value to their farm operations.
The loans provided by the financial institution can be used for the purchase of farm equipment, purchase of land, construction-related expenses, provide operating lines of credit or other costs related to conventional or sustainable farming.
The program is the nation’s most expansive agriculture deposit program. Since its origins, Ag Invest has loaned more than $4 billion in annual and long-term loans.
“Agriculture is our No. 1 industry in our state,” said Frerichs….
Region: Metro East,City: Alton,News
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August 26, 2021 at 08:29PM