The Rice County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Board gave unanimous approval today for a $50,000 revolving loan fund for Skopos Inc. of Dundas. The County Commissioners comprise the HRA board.

Rice County HRA Executive Director Joy Watson said the revolving loan fund was established in 2011 to stimulate private sector investment in facilities and equipment in order to create and retain jobs for local residents.

Kathy Feldbrugge, Rice County Economic Development Specialist, told Commissioners owners of Skopos Athletics want to use the money to expand their business, "Which includes the purchase and remodeling of an existing building in Dundas. The address of that building is 200 Schilling Drive. The facility would be a multi-purpose gym medical facility. Skopos has been in business for six years. The facility would not only house Skopos Athletics but other revenue streams from a massage therapist and nutritionist."

Greg and Andrea Berube are the owners according to Feldbrugge and they currently have three full time employees, " Job creation is estimated to be 4 to 6 full time employees.  The estimated project cost is $977,000.  The remodel is beginning this month and they hope to be in the space by the fall of this year.  They're currently leasing space in a small commercial building north of Menards.  They're leasing on the north end of the building and purchasing the south end of the building."

Feldgrubbe stated the project adds to Rice County's community viability , "With this expansion it leverages private dollars, creates beneficial services and new jobs.  The $50,000 loan proposed term is a fixed 2.25 percent interest rate over ten years."

Feldgrubbe says, "Overall the project contributes to Rice County by providing a multi-purpose gym and medical facility and will leverage private dollars and will support existing Rice County businesses and will continue to help with local employment. Joy and I met with the Rice County Economic Development Committee and their recommendation to the HRA is to approve this loan request today."

The $50,000 will be used to purchase equipment needed for the business.

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