Missouri Innovation Corporation Infuses Funds into Southeast Missouri’s Economy with Program’s First Small Business Loan


Parengo_CoffeeCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 13, 2014 – The Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) at Southeast Missouri State University announced today the closing of the first business loan under its Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) to recipient Parengo Coffee of Sikeston, Mo., for $25,200.

“This marks the first loan funds to be issued by the Missouri Innovation Corporation,” said Gordon Waller, MIC Board member. “We knew these funds were much needed in our region, and we are excited to see the positive economic impact, such as creating and retaining jobs here, now that these funds are getting into the hands of local business owners.”

Established to help entrepreneurs in the region secure financing for their new or existing small businesses, the IRP is a revolving loan fund program managed by the MIC and funded by a $1 million investment from USDA Rural Development. Microloans are vital to rural economic development as they provide businesses with access to capital needed to start up, expand and stay competitive.

“The Missouri Innovation Corporation program can definitely make a legitimate impact on local and regional, smaller communities like Sikeston,” said Susan Lawrence, MIC Loan Review Committee member. “Where traditional funding opportunities may be exhausted early in the game for startups, this program can be the lifeline those entrepreneurs need to take their business concept to the next level.”

Such is the case for Parengo Coffee, Southeast Missouri’s premiere craft coffee shop and roaster since opening in August 2013.  “We have big plans to expand our small business, and this program will help us do that,” said Parengo Coffee Co-Owner Theda Williams. The family-owned business — Theda’s husband Larry Williams is the other co-owner and their son Colby Williams manages daily operations — completed the loan application and review process with the MIC to use the $25,200 towards opening a new location that will create several new jobs.

In addition to being a resource for entrepreneurs, the program partners with banks across the 18 county region to finance new projects. The partnership provides for gap financing to fill in the project cost that the bank is not able to cover. For Parengo Coffee’s project, the IRP loan funds are being matched by MRV Banks through the direction of Steve McPheeters, senior vice president for MRV Banks.

“This project is a great example of supporting and expanding entrepreneurial ventures,” said Brian Tapp, chief operating officer of the MIC. “The MIC strategy of providing access to capital contributes to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in southeast Missouri.”

IRP loan funds will continue to be made available by the MIC to small businesses in the region and are expected to result in the creation of 200 jobs. Interested entrepreneurs and bank partners can contact Calvin Friedrich at (573) 651-2103 for more information or visit www.semo.edu/irie/mic.

About Missouri Innovation Corporation

The Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering business and community development to create new, high-value jobs and positive economic benefits for Southeast Missouri State University and the region. The MIC facilitates the process of innovation to enhance the regional economy, including the technology transfer and commercialization of innovations derived from research within the University. For more information, visit www.semo.edu/irie/mic.