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Oswego uses old money to fund new business loans

Payne Horning
WRVO News File Photo
Mayor Billy Barlow

The city of Oswego is offering new small business loans, funded by outstanding loans that were awarded 20 years ago.

Mayor Billy Barlow says the city received $1 million in the 1990s to establish a commercial loan program. Officials doled out that funding, but several of the loans were never paid back.

“Whether the community development office never followed up or – you know, I’m not sure what happened, but we had 19 outstanding loans in January 1 of 2016,” Barlow said.

Barlow, who took office in 2016, says the city has now been paid or arranged a payment schedule for 16 of those 19 loans. That will fund the next round of the commercial revolving loan program, which Barlow hopes will stimulate economic growth in the Port City.

“With all of the downtown energy and revitalization efforts happening now, it’s important for business owners to start considering if there’s a move or a project they would like to do,” Barlow said. “If they know that funding is there, then hopefully that makes life a little easier for them.”

The city is making $250,000 available for both startup and existing businesses in Oswego.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.