The state of Missouri is quadrupling the size of a program lending to small businesses at below-market rates.


“It really is a game changer for the Kansas City area specifically,” State Treasurer Clint Zweifel said this morning at a press conference at Commerce Bank’s headquaters in downtown Kansas City.


Commerce is investing $100 million in the Missouri Linked Deposit program, which provides loans to farmers and small businesses. Of that, $40 million is aside for the Kansas City area, which Zweifel said could create up to 1,100 jobs in the area.


Zweifel has been a proponent of the program since it was begun in early 2009. It’s for businesses of up to 99 employees, and it typically knocks 2 to 3 percentage points off a loan, lowering the cost of capital by about 30 percent.


Kevin Barth, president of Commerce for the Kansas City region, said the bank’s new investment reflects “a shared dedication to make Missouri businesses grow and prosper.”