Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 9, 2011


New 24-hour emergency loan approval system authorized by State Treasurer Clint Zweifel to assist with disasters

The emergency system, known as HELP, reduces wait times by 90 percent

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Rep. Steve Hodges talk with members of the National Guard while touring flood damage outside of Charleston, Mo.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Rep. Steve Hodges talk with members of the National Guard while touring flood damage outside of Charleston, Mo.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel surveys flood damage while speaking with Rep. Steve Hodges and National Guard members while on a levee outside of Charleston, Mo. Treasurer Zweifel and Rep. Hodges met with small business owners and farmers to discuss the impacts of the flooding.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel surveys flood damage while speaking with Rep. Steve Hodges and National Guard members on a levee outside of Charleston, Mo. Treasurer Zweifel and Rep. Hodges met with small business owners and farmers to discuss the impacts of the flooding.


JEFFERSON CITY – State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (ZWY-ful) today authorized and launched 24-hour approvals of low-interest Missouri Linked Deposit Program loans in response to the need created by recent disasters in the St. Louis area and southeast Missouri. The 24-hour loan approval process is known as the Harmed-area Emergency Loan Priority system, or HELP.

Treasurer Zweifel authorized the HELP system for use with all applications received from a qualifying borrower located in a county adversely impacted by disaster after touring Mississippi County this past Friday with Representative Steve Hodges. He will tour parts of northern St. Louis County tomorrow. HELP eligible counties will be determined by Treasurer Zweifel. He will use executive orders, disaster requests, State Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency information and Agricultural Disaster Designations and Declarations to determine eligibility.

"This past Friday I was able to survey Mississippi County with Rep. Hodges and meet with farmers and small business owners impacted by the flooding. What I encountered was Missourians ready to start rebuilding – small business owners and farmers who want tools in place when the flooding recedes. The system is fully ready to assist in rebuilding towns, restocking shelves and replanting fields," Treasurer Zweifel said. "I have now authorized my team to approve loans within 24 hours for all borrowers in qualifying counties and to make it retroactive to April 21, the day before the devastating tornado touched down in the St. Louis area. This will immediately help southeast Missouri, the St. Louis area and counties facing future emergencies, and we will reallocate our internal resources to make this happen."

Prior to Treasurer Zweifel authorizing the HELP system for approving completed Missouri Linked Deposit Program loan applications, the wait time was 10 days for approval once a partner lender submitted a completed application.

"I know many Missourians will be able to make insurance claims, but after talking with folks in Mississippi County, there is a clear need for borrowed capital as well, and I can provide it with greatly reduced interest cost," Treasurer Zweifel said. "I have been reaching out to lenders, and am now calling on those servicing HELP qualifying counties to speed up their loan approvals and get applications to me as soon as possible. Workers, businesses and farmers should know I am committed to getting them the capital they need now."

"My team and I met with Treasurer Zweifel on Friday, and Focus Bank is committed to Mississippi County and southeast Missouri. We need resources for our customers," said Don Burnett, president of Focus Bank. "We are committed to working with the Treasurer to speed up our processes and get low-cost loans out to those who need them."

As of April 21, Treasurer Zweifel has authorized the HELP system for completed qualifying applications in the following counties:
Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Christian, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Lawrence, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, St. Louis City, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Webster and Wright.

Loan applications received from counties not qualifying for the HELP system will be approved within the normal 10 day time frame.

About the Missouri Linked Deposit Program
The Missouri Linked Deposit Program is managed by State Treasurer Clint Zweifel. Missouri-based small businesses with up to 99 employees and farmers are eligible to receive a loan through the Missouri Linked Deposit Program based on lender underwriting standards. Additionally, local governments, housing developments and alternative-energy focused projects may qualify for the low-interest loans. About 115 lenders with 350 branches throughout Missouri use the Missouri Linked Deposit About 115 lenders with 350 branches throughout Missouri use the Missouri Linked Deposit Program. An extensive list of participating lenders and program eligibility guidelines are online at www.treasurer.mo.gov/LinkedDeposit.


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