January 19, 2024 Less than a minute read

Senate committee hears expansion of MOBUCK$ program

Legislation that would offer financial support to Missouri small businesses and farmers received a warm welcome in the Senate this week.

Senate Insurance and Banking Committee chair Sen. Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo) introduced SB 736, which would expand the popular MOBUCK$ program. The House companion bill was heard by the House Financial Institutions Committee last week.

The MOBUCK$ program allows the state treasurer’s office to work with qualified lenders throughout the state to offer loans at lower interest rates to Missouri small businesses, farmers and local governments. Missouri State Treasurer Vivek Malek indicated a small business loan with a regular interest rate of 9% could be reduced to almost 6% under the program.

The legislation would raise the cap on the program from the current $800 million to $1.2 billion. A record of nearly $539 million was loaned during the 2023 program year. When applications reopened on January 2 of this year, $120 million was allocated within six hours.

Malek confirmed that “the demand is huge, and we definitely would like to help all the small businesses and farmers we can.”

In addition to increasing the total funds available, Sen. Crawford said her bill would modify the amounts that may be used for different types of borrowers to provide more certainty in the program.

Similar legislation passed the House with strong support in 2023 but died in the Senate.

Heidi Geisbuhler Sutherland, director of legislative affairs for the Missouri Chamber, said the MOBUCK$ program “is a great economic driver for the state and presents an opportunity for small businesses to grow.”

For more information, contact Geisbuhler Sutherland at hsutherland@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.


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