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ECICOG.

Fueling dreams.

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U.S. BUSINESSES THAT ARE SMALL AND MEDIUM 

(SOURCE: International

Federation of Accountants)

U.S. BUSINESSES THAT ARE NON-OPERATIONAL DUE TO COVID-19 

(SOURCE: Facebook, 2020)

BUSINESS OWNERS WHO SAY CASH FLOW WILL BE THEIR BIGGEST CHALLENGE

(SOURCE: International

Federation of Accountants)

Challenge.

ECICOG received a $4.25 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to be dispersed as revolving loan funds under the CARES Act. Loans would assist regional businesses with recovery efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This federal government support coupled with a detailed understanding of local business and economic conditions gave East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) the unique opportunity and potential to unlock growth opportunities. With COVID relief funds in hand they needed to expand their audience and get information in front of business owners who may never before considered ECICOG as a lending source. ECICOG contracted with Monkeythis to develop a cohesive marketing plan to support the RLF program

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Results.

ECICOG offers last-dollar financing, the gap financing otherwise qualified borrowers need to fuel their dreams. Any business can apply for a loan and there wasn’t a shortage of applications, but there was a shortage of applications from non-traditional or rural business owners and entrepreneurs. Applying for a loan can be an intimidating process, lowering barriers and to encourage new borrowers became a key strategic goal. To make information more accessible we launched a separate website specifically to highlight the RLF. Success stories have highlighted borrowers with new business startups and a highly successful rural business, with more stories to follow. The theme of “What’s Next” encourages business owners to look with confidence and optimism to the future, a future that ECICOG can help make come true.