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Walker Announces New Resources to Ease Propane Crisis
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/11/2014

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is making it easier for small businesses to obtain fuel. According to Governor Scott Walker's office, WHEDA is expanding its $3 million Propane Guarantee Program created last week specifically for propane dealers following the governor's recent emergency declaration regarding propane shortage.

Under the expansion, existing small businesses would also be allowed to apply to purchase propane or propane equipment. The application and approval process is being streamlined to help businesses make purchases more quickly.

"We are doing everything possible to ensure that Wisconsin residents can get propane in their tanks," said Governor Walker. "While there is no silver bullet that will fix the current propane crisis, my administration has been moving forward with initiatives aimed at helping residents across the state keep the heat on during this bitterly cold winter."

WHEDA Director Wyman Winston says his agency is taking on greater risk because it will be providing loan guarantees to businesses across a spectrum of industries. To mitigate the additional risk, the guarantee will be limited to the lesser of 50 percent of the loan amount or $25,000 per borrower. The borrower will also be required to sign a personal guarantee. The lender will share at least half the risk on the loan, thereby limiting the number of high risk loan guarantee applications that are submitted.

The expansion of and changes to the Propane Guarantee Program were approved last Friday by WHEDA's Internal and Members Loan Committees. Similarly but separately, at the request of Governor Walker, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation recently began working with financial institutions to encourage them to create or expand lines of credit of up to $100,000 to propane dealers during the current propane crisis.

For more information on resources to help deal with the current propane crisis available through WEDC, visit: www.inwisconsin.com. Or for information about WHEDA's expanded Propane Guarantee Program, go to: www.wheda.com.

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