Missouri State Treasurer Vivek Malek visited with local leaders today at the Henry County Courthouse in Clinton. He discussed the local impact of the MOBUCK$ lowinterest loan program, and shared his plan to work on legislation that would expand the successful program’s capacity.
Due to inflationary pressures, the Federal Reserve Bank has continued to raise interest rates. As a result, the State Treasurer’s MOBUCK$ low-interest loan program has become a lifeline for farmers and small business owners. Since March 2022, the Fed has increased interest rates 11 times, resulting the highest rate in 22 years. Through the MOBUCK$ program, lenders are allowed to lower interest rates to the borrower by about 2-3 percent.
During the past program year, October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023, the MO BUCK$ lowinterest loan program provided over $7 million in low-interest rate loans in Henry County.
State Treasurer Vivek Malek said, “The MOBUCK$ program helps small business owners and farmers get low-interest loans at a time of historically high interest rates. This program has been a game-changer folks in Henry County, and that’s why I’m going to continue to fight for it.”
In May 2023, the State Treasurer’s Office indefinitely suspended acceptance of MOBUCK$ applications due to a statutory limit on the total dollar amount available to loan. Due to the increased demand, Treasurer Malek is asking the Missouri General Assembly to expand the program’s capacity to help small business owners and farmers. The General Assembly is scheduled to return in regular session beginning on Wednesday, January 3th.
Due to expiration of some existing MOBUCK$ loans, funds will become available to resume acceptance of applications. As a result, the State Treasurer’s Office will begin accepting new applications for loans beginning Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024. However, if demand remains high, and the statutory limit is not increased, available funds are likely to be exhausted and the application portal will be closed again which will force Missouri small businesses, including farmers and ranchers, to pay higher interest rates.