Senate Bill 3719, expands the Illinois Finance Authority's
long-standing loan guarantee program for agriculture by including
working capital and coverage for innovative farming practices.
"With most farms just having completed their spring planting, we
know money can be tight and quick access to capital can be
challenging," Quinn said. "This new law will help farmers ease cash
flow through the growing season."
The program will continue to make funds available for land
purchases, agriculture-related businesses and debt restructuring.
The addition of working capital needs is expected to create a strong
demand among farmers and agribusinesses in the currently constrained
financial markets, where capital and loans can be difficult to
Financing through this program is available at banks and other
lending institutions throughout Illinois, backed by the state's
guarantee. The state's backing opens access to capital, making loans
more widely available to farmers and agribusiness. As with
traditional loans, the market typically determines the interest rate
for financing under this program.
"Illinois' agriculture industry is one of the IFA's most
important partners, as we work to keep the state's economy strong
and vibrant," said Christopher Meister, executive director of the
Illinois Finance Authority. "That's why we've targeted these lending
tools to help finance growth in family farms, agribusinesses and
Illinois lenders welcome the program expansion and anticipate
that many of their customers will take advantage of the opportunity
to access affordable capital through this program.
"IFA's guarantee program is pretty seamless and quite easy to
do," said Tracy Epps, president of the Bank of Gibson City. "You
don't have to jump through hoops or fill out multiple forms only to
find out that you're not eligible. They don't waste your time or
your customer's time."
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Quinn signed the bill Saturday at the Champaign Farm Bureau,
joined by state Sen. Michael Frerichs, D-Champaign, and state Rep.
Bill Black, R-Danville, sponsors of the legislation.
"The IFA is an important partner for farm families and
agribusinesses in my community," Frerichs said. "SB 3719 helps
strengthen that partnership when a sagging economy makes our
assistance more important than ever."
"The timing of this expanded program couldn't be better," Black
said. "I'm especially pleased this program will support the industry
at all levels, from family farms to larger agribusinesses."
Illinois Government News Network]