Member of the Dumas Economic Development Corporation (DEDC) Board of Directors David Swinford presented a $1600 Community Grant check to Doel Cordero, president of Moore County Development, Inc. Tuesday in the organization's new office at 210 East 7th Street in Dumas. The money is to cover half the cost of a new computer, printer, and office furniture for the non-profit organization.
According to Moore County Development, Inc. Executive Director Lisa Underwood-Bice, the organization's old equipment and furniture had become obsolete and dysfunctional, so after making a move to a new office from their old facility on 1st Street, they applied for the grant. "The computer is necessary to process applications and keep our books," she said. "All these things help us do a better job for our clients."
The DEDC Community Grant program "seeks to encourage Dumas-based civic and non-profit organizations to undertake projects that improve the area's quality of life," according to the DEDC website. The grants are matching grants. Those organizations that receive them must put up the same amount of their own money. They have to pay for the items they purchase, and they are then reimbursed with the DEDC Community Grant.
"We would love for people to know more about us, because we have money to loan," said Underwood-Bice. Moore County Development, Inc. is a 501c 6 non-profit that administers a revolving loan fund in Moore County for the US Economic Development Administration, a part of the US Department of Commerce. "We are a high risk, low interest loan program," said Underwood-Bice. The money is designed to promote employment in the community. Any small business is eligible to apply. Underwood-Bice says the organization does run a credit check on applicants. "You do have to have pretty good credit," she said. "But we are in the business of taking risk. We loan where they can't get loans at other places, if they meet our criteria." Interested persons can apply at the Moore County Development, Inc. office. "It is a thick application," said Underwood-Bice. There is a big incentive to apply. "We do very low interest rates."
"We can do $25,000 per employee, up to one-third of the cost of the project," added Cordero.
"We are perfect for businesses that are expanding or new businesses that are coming in and intending to hire new employees," said Underwood-Bice. She says they have made loans to businesses in Cactus, Sunray, Dumas, and the far reaches of the county. "Anywhere in this county, we can do loans. We have helped some businesses that were shutting down. Big Country (formerly Albert's), we were able to help that restaurant open back up. Tim Rehkopf (who purchased the closed Albert's and reopened it as Big Country) came to us, and we really moved fast so that the (displaced) employees could get to work again."
Moore County Development, Inc. originated in the early 1970's to administer the loan that American Beef received from the federal government to build the Cactus plant that is now JBS. "That is how Moore County Development, Inc. was conceived, so that American Beef could get their money," said Underwood-Bice. As the money was paid back, it went to Moore County Development, Inc. to be lent out again around the community in a cycle that continues to this day.
"The original amount Moore County Development, Inc. got was $3 million," said Cordero.
Those interested in more information about Moore County Development, Inc. should call 806-935-6866.