State questions small-business micro-loan administrator

Dee Dee Jacobs, SBJ Web EditorThe administrator of Missouri’s new micro-loan program for small businesses is under review for charging high interest rates for another state program, according to the St. Joseph News-Press.

The Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corp., a St. Louis nonprofit group, was selected to administer a state grant program aimed at helping low-income homeowners avoid foreclosures, according to the report. The Associated Press reported last week that the nonprofit is suspected of charging high interest rates on the loans and altering financial documents to hide the charges from state inspectors.

Justine Petersen also is the administrator for the state’s new small-business micro-loan program, according to the report. Missouri Department of Economic Development officials now are questioning whether they should disqualify the group from administering that program, which offers loans to businesses with up to five employees at a 3 percent interest rate.

Click here to read the full St. Joseph News-Press story.


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