SPRINGFIELD — Lake County will join an economic development group that provides low-interest loans to business owners and housing developers without any burden on taxpayers after legislative efforts by State Sen. Melinda Bush.
Following talks in the General Assembly, Bush, D-Grayslake, successfully pushed for Lake County’s inclusion in the Upper Illinois River Valley Development Authority (UIRVDA), one of the state’s regional development authorities. Such groups issue bonds to fund loans to businesses and housing developer projects. Local developers pay off the bonds directly to investors.
“Membership in the Upper Illinois River Valley Development Authority will open doors for small business owners and property developers in Lake County,” Bush said. “This is an economic development effort that encourages investment in local concerns and doesn’t put taxpayer money at risk.”
Regional development authorities like the UIRVDA operate on the fees they charge borrowers, with no state funding. It’s a mechanism that allows RDAs to help local businesses without any burden on taxpayers, said David Northern, executive director of the Lake County Housing Authority.
“They are operationally self-supporting,” Northern said. “In short, it doesn’t cost anything to have access to UIRVDA’s financing powers.”
The legislation is House Bill 417. Having passed the Senate today, it will return to the House for concurrence.