Franklin County has agreed to restart of the Revolving Loan Funds program with the Apalachee Regional Planning Council.
A similar loan fund program was created by the county in 1995 to help local seafood workers who were hit hard by Tropical Storm Alberto that year.
At the time, the county had about a half million dollars in the fund, and a total of 32 people and businesses took advantage of the money.
The commission hoped that as the loans were repaid it would provide a constant fund for people during other times of need.
The plan didn’t work out the way the county hoped, mainly because many of the loans were never repaid.
At the time the county considered taking action against the Apalachee Regional Planning Council which was hired to oversee the loan program.
Things have changed and there is new leadership at the ARPC which the county feels will do a much better job of overseeing the loan program.
Currently, Franklin County has approximately $300,000 in the revolving loan account – that money has been sitting unused for many years
There is the possibility that the ARPC can leverage that money into over 1 million dollars through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge under the American Rescue Plan Act funding.
The increased funding could help grow a new regional industry cluster centered around the ag-technology industry and Gulf-Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone.
If the application is not funded, ARPC will still administer the County’s Revolving Loan program with the $300,000.