EDC proposes new program

Andrew Hansen, Staff Writer

The Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation is proposing a new business assistance program that will help attract and retain high-impact business in the City of Oshkosh.

The Greater Oshkosh EDC is proposing a new business assistance program to attract and businesses in the City of Oshkosh.

The EDC is a nonprofit corporation that helps businesses grow and expand as well as troubleshoot growth issues in the community.

According to the city’s newsletter, the forgivable loan program would be funded by the city’s Revolving Loan Fund and matched by donation on a one-to-one ratio by Greater Oshkosh EDC’s private funds.

The Oshkosh revolving loan fund is a gap financing tool intended to promote job creation and local economic development through low-interest

rates for businesses that provide job growth through expansion and/or relocation projects.

The EDC CEO and President Jason White says the program requires a list of criteria to be met in order for businesses to qualify.

“It has to be a $2.5 million minimum capital investment,” White said. “It also has to involve the creation of a minimum of 20 jobs at an average wage that exceeds the average wage of the community.”

Additional criteria include prospective businesses possessing multiple locations across the country, including Oshkosh, and evidence that the company has plans to expand in the near future.

If passed, White said the program will assist with economic growth in Oshkosh.

“You know when it comes to economic development every deal is different,” White said. “The bottom line is we want to make sure that we do everything we can to keep our businesses, especially our longtime, mature, growing base of businesses we have in our community.”

After a company is approved for the loan, Greater Oshkosh EDC will do routine follow-ups to ensure the business maintains performance standards. For a company involved in the program that fails to meet these performance standards after accepting the loan, the loan has to be repaid.

White says the program is specifically geared toward keeping businesses in Oshkosh.

“It’s very difficult for businesses to find grants,” White said. “We want our companies, and we cannot afford to have our companies be poached or leave and move to other communities that are more aggressive.”

Pending approval by the city’s Long Range Finance Committee, a recommendation on the program will be sent to the city council.