Small Business Linked Investments Program

What is the Small Business Linked Investments for Tomorrow (LIFT) Program?
  • The Small Business Linked Investments Program provides capital for small businesses owned and operated by Iowa residents.
  • One-half of the moneys invested will be available for qualifying small businesses which are 51 percent or more owned, operated, and actively managed by one or more women, minority persons, or persons with disabilities.
How Does LIFT Work?
  • The lender may submit applications through the treasurer’s website for those borrowers and businesses which the lender believes are eligible.
  • If the application is approved by the treasurer’s office, the treasurer of state purchases a certificate of deposit from the lender at three percent below the 1-year Treasury bill rate.
  • The minimum rate for the certificate of deposit shall be one percent.
  • The lender makes the loan to the borrower and may charge the borrower up to, but no more than four percent, above the rate of the certificate of deposit.
  • The term of each certificate of deposit cannot exceed one year, but may be renewed at the option of the treasurer on an annual basis for a total term of up to five years.
  • The state does not guarantee the loan nor is the certificate of deposit collateral for the loan.
What are the Qualifications?
  • The combined net worth of the borrowers and owners of the business cannot exceed $975,000.
  • Existing small businesses must have annual gross sales of $2 million or less at the time of application.
  • The maximum amount of assistance that a borrower or business may receive is $200,000.
  • The loan may be used for the purchase of land, improvements, fixtures, machinery, inventory, supplies, equipment, information technology, licenses, patents, trademarks, or copyright fees and expenses.
  • Loan proceeds shall not be used to finance existing debt.
  • The business must be for-profit.
  • The borrower must not have received financial assistance from the LIFT program prior to July 1, 2006.
  • Home businesses must qualify for a tax deduction for that portion of the home used for business pursuant to regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Loan proceeds cannot be used for real estate investments, rental, leasing, or speculation.
  • Liquor, beer, and wine sales must not exceed twenty percent of annual sales for establishments holding a class “C” liquor license.
  • Borrowers cannot be delinquent in making child support payments or any other payments due the state.
Lender Instructions
  1. In order to participate in LIFT, a lender’s home office must complete and submit a signed LIFT Master Agreement to the Treasurer. This form is available by logging onto www.iowalift.com. Once the bank’s information is entered, you must print off the LIFT Master Agreement and submit a signed copy to the Treasurer. By filing this form, the home office agrees that it and all its branches, when participating in the LIFT program, shall comply with Iowa Code sections 12.31-12.43, Iowa Code chapter 12C, and Iowa Administrative Code 781 - Chapters 3, 4, 13, and 14.
  2. Small business borrowers must contact their financial institution and complete the normal lending process. The lender may approve a loan for any amount or any duration, but LIFT will only provide up to $200,000, which may be renewed for up to five years through the LIFT program.
  3. Lender completes an online application for the small business borrower. The lender must submit the certificate of compliance, signed by both the borrower and lending officer.
  4. If the application meets the LIFT guidelines, the treasurer’s office approves the online application.
  5. The Treasurer places a certificate of deposit in the financial institution on the fifteenth day of the month or the following business day. The lender must make all funds available to the borrower by the end of the business day following the day the lender receives the funds from the Treasurer.
  6. The LIFT certificate of deposit will be in the name of Treasurer State of Iowa. The interest will be set to pay simple interest at maturity, based on the actual number of days over a 365-day basis, except during leap year, when it will be calculated on the actual number of days over a 366-day basis.
  7. The lender will hold the original certificate of deposit at the financial institution and mail a safekeeping receipt or a copy of the certificate of deposit to the Treasurer. The safekeeping receipt or photocopy must include: certificate of deposit number, rate, amount, terms, and maturity date. If possible, the lender will retain the same certificate of deposit number during the life of the LIFT loan.
  8. The Treasurer cannot accept a collateral receipt. The Treasurer does not sign penalty notices and does not sign a financial institution’s terms and conditions. The certificate of deposit is not collateral nor is it security for the loan.
  9. At maturity of the certificate of deposit, the lender must enter the payment amount online and remit interest earned on the certificate of deposit, as well as any principal received from the borrower. DO NOT SEND A CHECK for principal and interest. Send either a wire or ACH file. The Treasurer will fax you a maturity notice with wire and ACH instructions.
  10. At renewal, the lender is required to submit a renewal application to ensure that that borrower and business continue to be eligible to participate in the LIFT program. The lender must also submit a safekeeping receipt or photocopy of the certificate of deposit. If the certificate of deposit is not renewed within 10 days after the maturity date, the lender shall remit the certificate of deposit balance and accrued interest.
  11. At any time after approval of the application, the lender shall notify the Treasurer in writing if the loan is paid off, if the loan is in default, if the business closes, or if the business is sold. The lender shall, within 10 business days, remit the principal balance of the certificate of deposit and the accrued interest to the Treasurer.
  12. At any time it is determined that a borrower or business does not meet the requirements of participation in the LIFT program, the treasurer’s office shall notify the lender and withdraw the certificate of deposit with no penalty.
FAQs

Q What is the taxpayer ID number I use to setup the CD?
A Use the State’s tax ID number 42-6004579. All other contact information is found on the home page.
 
Q The qualifications state that loan proceeds can be used for land or buildings, but then states that 'Loan proceeds cannot be used for real estate investments, rental, leasing, or speculation'. Please explain.
A Proceeds can be used for land or property only if that property will be used by the business. Buying property to rent out or for speculation purposes is disqualified.
 
Q Can this money be used for a Line of Credit?
A No, because according to the program rules, all of the proceeds must be in the hands of borrower by the business day following the day the CD is funded.
 
Q The CD is only funded on the 15th of the month, but I need to close the loan sooner. How can I do this?
A Program rules do allow you to setup a short-term bridge loan in anticipation of LIFT funds, which can be refinanced with the proceeds. The LIFT application should be approved prior to setting up the bridge loan so you are assured that the borrower qualifies and funds are available.
 
Q Can the LIFT program be used in conjunction with the SBA?
A Yes. Our program is not associated with SBA, so as long as our requirements are met, it is allowed. However, please check with the SBA to verify that all of their requirements are met as well.
 
Q Are LIFT loan CDs considered public funds for reporting purposes?
A Yes
 
Q Is a borrower allowed to have multiple LIFT loans?
A No, the borrower is limited to one loan from one financial institution. However, a borrower or business can have multiple LIFT CDs under one loan as long as it’s within 5 years and the total of the CDs is $200,000.00 or less. Because this may create difficulty, we do not recommend it. But if you would like to use the program this way, here’s how it would work for example:
  • CD funded for LIFT loan at $10,000 in July of 2008.
  • Borrower reapplies and receives another CD (at the same financial institution) for $10,000 in June 2010.
  • Loan is now for $20,000 and both CDs must be paid off in full by July 2013, which is the program end date for this borrower.
  • Each CD is setup on its own 1 year maturity/renewal schedule, a renewal application must be submitted for each CD each year after opening, and all interest and principal remitted on the loan must be paid off at the CD maturity.
  • Because CD rates are set monthly, it would be conceivable to have varying rates on the multiple CDs associated with the one loan. In this case the loan rate could never exceed 4% above the lowest CD rate.
 
Q How much money is available for the program?
A Approximately $108 million is allocated for the program (subject to change at the Treasurer’s discretion). One half of that amount is available for qualifying small businesses that are 51 percent or more owned by women, minorities, or persons with disabilities.

Get More Information

For more information, please

Call: (515) 281-6878
Fax: (515) 281-7562
Email: lift@iowa.gov
Otherwise you may write to:
Treasurer of State Michael L. Fitzgerald
LIFT Administration
State Capitol Building
Room 114
Des Moines, IA 50319