Date: April 15, 1999
Contact: Stephen Collins
The Colby College Downtown Development Loan Program, a million-dollar revolving loan fund established by the college to help attract commerce and to create and retain jobs in downtown Waterville, is now accepting applications through the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). Loans of up to $100,000 may be issued to projects that demonstrate substantial potential benefit for the downtown area of the city, according to Colby President William R. Cotter.
FAME's Director of Business Development David Markovchick (623-3263) is handling applications for the Colby loan program. FAME's fax number is 623-0095.
Various economic development organizations in Waterville have information about the loan program and can provide information, applications and/or assistance in preparing submissions. They include REM (873-4444), the Waterville Intown Business Association (877-7267), the Chamber of Commerce (873-3315), Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG, 453-4258) and the Mid State Economic Development Corporation (872-5598). The Waterville city administrator's office (873-7131 x210) also has information on the program.
The college set up the low-interest (five percent), low-hassle loans to help ensure an adequate base of retail stores and a critical mass of people to keep Waterville's shopping district vital and interesting. "It's the downtown that gives the city history and character," Cotter said, acknowledging Colby's interest in keeping the downtown healthy.
City leaders, local banks, entrepreneurs, landlords and economic development specialists welcomed news of the fund because it can be used to fill gaps in other financing provided by lending institutions and business loan programs.