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Bridges | Winter 2011-2012

Spanning the Region

Additional Capital for Delta Businesses

ACCION Delta is setting up shop across the Delta; with it comes additional capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the area. Microlending services will be provided in the 252 counties and parishes of the federally designated Delta Regional Authority (DRA) area, which includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. ACCION Delta, a community development financial institution (CDFI), is the result of a partnership with ACCION Texas, the nation’s largest nonprofit micro- and small-business lender, and Southeast Missouri State University’s Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a nationally recognized rural microenterprise development program.

So far, offices have opened in Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Helena-West Helena, Ark.; and North Little Rock, Ark. Plans are to place a loan officer in each of the DRA states by August 2012. Contact information for the current loan offices in the Eighth District of the Federal Reserve Bank are listed below:

Loan Officer Nathanial Owen
Phillips County Chamber of Commerce
111 Hickory Hill Drive
P.O. Box 762
Helena, AR 72342
Phone: 870-519-9171

Loan Officer Russell Hampton
324 W. Pershing
North Little Rock, AR 72114
Phone: 501-444-8585

Loan Officer Craig Bohnsack
Southeast Missouri State University
920 Broadway, Suite 107
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Phone: 573-587-0908

To learn more about ACCION Delta, visit www.acciondelta.orgarrow. For information about Southeast Missouri State University’s Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, visit www.semo.edu/ciearrow.

Mortgage Financing for Illinois Veterans

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has launched “Welcome Home Heroes,” a mortgage financing package open to all qualified Illinois veterans, active military personnel, reservists and Illinois National Guard members. Under the program, a mortgage credit certificate enhances the benefit of the federal homeowner mortgage interest deduction. Homeowners with the credit are allowed to use 20 percent of their annual mortgage interest as a direct federal tax credit, resulting in a dollar-for-dollar reduction of their annual federal income tax liability. The remaining 80 percent of their annual mortgage interest continues to qualify as an itemized tax deduction.

To find out more about the program, including application information and local lenders, visit www.ihda.org/homeowner/heroes.htmarrow.

Illinois Increases Earned-Income Tax Credit

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that doubles the state’s earned-income tax credit (EITC) from five to 10 percent of the federal EITC, phased in over three years. This tax relief will help more than 900,000 working families save an extra $100 to $200 a year. Low- and middle-income working families will receive an additional boost from a $50 increase in the personal exemption, which will now be indexed to inflation. And while EITC provides help to low-income workers, it also boosts local economies by increasing consumer spending in neighborhood stores and the community.

For more information, visit www2.illinois.govarrow or www.taxcreditsforworkingfamilies.org/2011/12/illinois-doubles-state-eitc/arrow.

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