Missouri Innovation Corporation Infuses $30,000 into Southeast Missouri’s Economy with Another Small Business Loan

The Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) at Southeast Missouri State University announced today the closing of a $30,000 business loan under its Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) to recipient Villainous Grounds of Perryville, Missouri.

Villainous Grounds, located at 26 N. Jackson Street in Perryville, is co-owned by Mary Jo Bammel and her husband David. They were both working long hours and never seeing each other when they made the decision to invest in themselves and open their own business. David dreamed of starting a brick and mortar comic bookstore, but they realized they would need to offer more to be successful in this venture. They identified a market need for gourmet, fresh-roasted coffee in Perryville and opened the bookstore/coffee shop hybrid in January 2016.

After shouldering all the expenses to get the business off the ground and to survive the critical first year in business, they decided to seek financing.

“The Bank of Missouri asked us to sit down with Crystal Jones from the MIC because we were not only purchasing the building but also consolidating debt from startup costs and looking for working capital,” said Mary Jo Bammel. “The MIC was able to help us meet those financial goals.”

To date, the MIC has loaned $300,200 of the $1 million investment it received from USDA Rural Development for the IRP revolving loan fund program.

“Our revolving loan fund program fills an important access to capital need in the region,” said Jones, director of the Economic and Business Engagement Center and staff to the MIC Board of Directors. “The loans are designed to provide gap financing for small businesses that are not able to receive all of the capital they need from their primary lender. We work collaboratively with banks, such as The Bank of Missouri, to make these deals a reality and are always pleased when businesses like Villainous Grounds can continue to grow and retain jobs in the community.”

According to the owners, not only is business flourishing, they are also achieving other goals.

“Despite the long hours, we truly enjoy getting to be a part of our customers’ days,” said Mary Jo Bammel. “We have a map that our customers pin to show us where they’re from and every state in the U.S. and 15 other countries are already accounted for. We are bringing travelers to our downtown, bringing attention and commerce to our square.”

They also have been able to support local authors and artisans by selling their work through consignment and support the community by donating tips to local charities.

“Small, local businesses are the backbone of the community,” said The Bank of Missouri assistant vice president Amanda Klaus. “We enjoy seeing them reach success, and it is an honor to be a part of their story.”

IRP loan funds will continue to be made available by the MIC in the counties of Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard and Wayne.

IRP loans range in size from $25,000 to $100,000 with limited exceptions for higher amounts. Eligible loan purposes include real estate, buildings, leasehold improvements, equipment, inventory, working capital, and refinancing.

Interested entrepreneurs and bank partners can contact Crystal Jones at (573) 651-5956.

For more information, visit www.engage.semo.edu/business/financing.