The Illinois Treasurer serves as the state’s chief investment officer. We invest approximately $25 billion on behalf of the state, units of local government, and families saving for college.
However, I have long maintained that we must also invest in people. The best way to do that is to provide people the tools to invest in themselves.
One way we do this is to capitalize local banks and lending institutions. We provide money at below‑market rates in return for their commitment to loan that money to individuals and businesses trying to better themselves and, by extension, their community.
Farmers are familiar with our popular Ag Invest program which has provided more than $1 billion in loans over the years. Some homeowners are familiar with our Finally Home program that helps homebuyers who barely miss qualifying for a conventional mortgage. This year, we added a new program to the portfolio to help small businesses still wading through the ripple effects of the recession.
The Community Uplift Program commits $500 million in new money to flow through local banking institutions to help individuals obtain loans at below-market rates to fund business growth or expansion. The program provides capital in a manner that supports community development while meeting our primary investment objectives of safety, liquidity, and return on investment.
Currently, 300 lending institutions are qualified to participate. Growing the number of institutions willing to participate in just one of these loan programs will help strengthen Illinois.
If you are a business owner, farmer, or potential homeowner, click here for more information. Bankers and other lending institutions can click here.
When we work together, we can make Illinois a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Thank you for doing your part.
Michael W. Frerichs
Illinois State Treasurer