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Joplin business leaders have found a friend in former US Senator John Danforth as they try to rebuild their city after the May 22 tornado left nearly 5,000 people without jobs. From Joplin, KSMU’s Jennifer Moore reports.
Danforth is spearheading a new non-profit organization called “Joplin Tomorrow.” It will provide low or no-interest loans to businesses that want to call Joplin home. The offer is also good for businesses hoping to expand in Joplin.
The former politicians said he will travel the state raising money for the fund.
“A lot of this is business helping business to create business for the future. That’s going to have a lot of appeal to people, I think, throughout our state, who want to do something for Joplin,” he said.
Danforth said other business recovery loans and programs are helpful—but they only seek to maintain the status quo a business held before the tornado. In contrast, he said, the “Joplin Tomorrow” loans will help businesses expand, even beyond what they previously were.
Five members of the Joplin business community will volunteer their time to administer the loans. Contributions will be tax-deductible, chamber officials said.
The fund already has one million dollars: $500,000 from the Danforth Foundation, which ceased operating last month, and another half million from Joplin business owners. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce has also donated $25,000.
For more information on the fund, you can visit www.joplintomorrow.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore in Joplin.