(30 ILCS 750/9-4.2a)
    Sec. 9-4.2a. Rural micro-business loans.
    (a) In order to increase the growth of small rural businesses, the rural micro-business loan program is created and shall be administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. This program shall help small businesses that lack sufficient collateral or equity access funds at competitive terms to help create or retain jobs, modernize equipment or facilities, and maintain their competitiveness.
    (b) In the making of loans for rural micro-businesses, as defined below, the Department is authorized to employ different criteria in lieu of the general provisions of subsections (b), (d), (e), (f), (h), and (i) of Section 9-4. The Department shall adopt rules for the administration of this program.
    For purposes of this Section, "rural micro-business" means a business that: (i) employs 5 or fewer full-time employees, including the owner if the owner is an employee, and (ii) is based on the production, processing, or marketing of agricultural products, forest products, cottage and craft products, or tourism.
    (c) The Department shall determine by rule the amount, term, interest rate, and allowable uses of loans awarded under this program, except that:
        (1) The loan shall not exceed $25,000 or 50% of the
business project costs, unless the Director of the Department determines that a waiver of these limits is required to meet the purposes of this Act.
        (2) The loan shall only be made if the Department
determines that the number of jobs to be created or retained by the business is reasonable in relation to the loan funds requested.
        (3) The borrower shall provide a written statement of
the funds required to establish or support the business and shall provide equity capital in an amount equal to 10% of the first $10,000 of the required funds and equity capital, other loans, or leveraged capital, or any combination thereof, in an amount equal to 50% of any additional required funds.
        (4) The loan shall be in a principal amount and form
and contain terms and provisions with respect to security, insurance, reporting, delinquency charges, default remedies, and other matters that the Department determines are appropriate to protect the public interest and are consistent with the purposes of this Section. The terms and provisions may be less than required for similar loans not covered by this Section.
        (5) The Department shall award no less than 80% of
the amount available for this program for loans to businesses that are located in counties with a population of 100,000 or less.
(Source: P.A. 94-392, eff. 8-1-05.)