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More than $56 million in Federal Recovery Zone Facility Bonds allocated to help local economy

By Staff | Jan 28, 2010

Businesses looking to locate or expand in Lee County now have a new low interest financing option to consider in the form of tax-exempt Economic Recovery Zone Facility Bonds. The federal government has made $56.1 million in tax-exempt financing available to Lee County businesses through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
However, time is of the essence since applications will only be accepted for the next nine months. Applications are being accepted now and will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis until the $56.1 million allocation has been exhausted or through Sept. 30, whichever happens first.
The purpose of these bonds is to provide tax-exempt, low-interest financing to businesses that would normally not qualify for tax-exempt debt. This conduit financing program has been implemented by the Lee County Industrial Development Authority to promote growth and economic development in the County, per Lee County Ordinance #09-029.
If a business qualifies for regular bank financing, there is a good chance it will qualify for a tax-exempt bond under this program. Typical projects might include (but not limited to): commercial build/lease project (medical office building/strip mall); for profit health care project (doctor-owned surgery/diagnostic center); profit/non-profit new businesses (bank/pharmacy/gas station/big-box retail); expansion of existing business (new warehouse/showroom/office space)
Applications are currently being accepted for projects requesting at least $3 million in financing. Completed applications will be reviewed and analyzed by the Industrial Development Authority staff at the Fort Myers Regional Partnership, Lee County’s Economic Development Office. The IDA will present feasible recommendations to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners for ultimate approval.
An application fee of $1,500 for bond applications up to $5 million and $2,500 for applications over $5 million is required at time of submission. The application fee is non-refundable. Additional financing fees apply at time of bond issuance.
Questions about the program, including inquiries about what types of projects are eligible can be submitted to EDO@Leegov.com or call 800-330-3161 or 239-338-3161. Additional detailed information including guidelines and application is also available online at www.FortMyersRegionalPartnership.com .