Chicago, IL. – Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka announced today that she will aggressively market Illinois to domestic and international businesses through a new, innovative loan program called the State Treasurer’s Economic Recovery Program. The focus of the ER Program is to bring jobs to Illinois – good- paying jobs with benefits.

„Illinois has been hit hard by recent shifts in our economy, with thousands of people being laid-off — most notably in the manufacturing and technologies industries,” said Topinka. „Although economists maintain there is no cause for panic for laid-off workers or the State’s manufacturing-heavy economy yet, we need to find new ways to help create jobs here in Illinois,” she added.

The ER Program will make $50 million available to companies outside of Illinois, providing access to affordable capital, to move or expand their operations to Illinois. At today’s rates, a borrower could get an ER Loan for 4.5 percent.

„Illinois must again compete for manufacturing jobs and proactively market itself to corporate America, highlighting the Illinois Advantage … a skilled workforce, good schools, welcoming communities and low taxes,” said Topinka.

For each permanent full-time job that is created, the Treasurer deposits $50,000 at wellbelow market rates into the borrower’s financial institution. That institution will then lend the money at below prevailing interest rates to the borrower. The terms of the loan range from one to five years. The financial institution that receives the discounted deposit decides on the credit-worthiness of the borrower.

„Approval of ER applications would be at my sole discretion, and of course, we’re going to look at the areas of the state that have been hit hardest through factories moving to the Sun Belt or by companies fleeing to neighboring states,” said Topinka.

„This program is on the cutting-edge of economic development, job creation and community redevelopment … keeping Illinois competitive in the new millenium,” she added.

The Treasurer’s office will market the ER program nationwide, placing several thousand dollars worth of advertising in facilities-planning publications, with an audience geared toward corporate site selectors.

„We will be sending our representatives to nationwide site planning conventions to promote the ER Program and all the wonderful incentives for moving a business into Illinois,” said Topinka.

„We want to make all of Illinois economically strong and diverse once again. We must keep Illinois working and competitive!” she added.


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