Missouri State Treasurer urges Legislature to expand MOBUCK$ program

MoBucks Farm Relief Program website
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Missouri State Treasurer Vivek Malek urged the Legislature to approve a $400 million expansion of the successful MOBUCK$ program. The low-interest loan program is administered by the Treasurer’s Office to boost economic growth while helping borrowers beat inflation.

“Since I became State Treasurer in January, I have focused on promoting MOBUCK$ as a relief valve against soaring inflation. Our office works closely with qualified lenders to offer loans at lower interest rates to Missouri small businesses, farmers, and local governments,” Treasurer Malek said.

The MOBUCK$ application portal has been closed since May of this year due to high demand, as total deposits approached the statutory cap of $800 million. Treasurer Malek endorsed legislation to raise the MOBUCK$ cap to $1.2 billion. Sen. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, and Rep. Terry Thompson, R-Lexington will sponsor the legislation, pre-filing for the 2024 legislative session which opens this Friday, Dec. 1, and Malek hopes the proposals to strengthen MOBUCK$ will receive widespread, bipartisan support.

“During November, I visited local officials and community leaders in 44 counties across Missouri to promote MOBUCK$, and everyone is excited about what these low-interest loans can mean for small businesses, especially in rural areas,” Treasurer Malek said.

Sen. Crawford, who raises cattle on her family farm, said: “Farmers and ranchers must watch every dollar because there are so many variables in agriculture, from weather to market prices. With the current high-interest rates, MOBUCK$ linked-deposit loans are a source of stability and financial savings.”

“MOBUCK$ is a proven program that helps farmers and small businesses save on their bottom lines by providing a break on loan interest,” said Rep. Thompson. A former banker, Rep. Thompson added: “I’ve promoted MOBUCK$ for decades as a viable option to help folks build their business while saving money.”

The annual program year for MOBUCK$ runs from October 1 through September 30. During the latest program year, MOBUCK$ set a record for the total dollar amount loaned at almost $539 million. That pushed the total amount of outstanding loans under MOBUCK$ near the $800 million cap. Additionally, as new MOBUCK$ loan capacity opened, Treasurer Malek established the Farm Relief Loan Program to help farmers and ranchers confronting severe drought. Nearly $52.5 million in Farm Relief Loans are expected to be issued in total for this year.

Treasurer Malek said his office will resume accepting MOBUCK$ applications on January 2, 2024, when about $125 million will be available, but as with 2023, without legislative action, applications are expected to outpace available loan funding.

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