ST. PAUL – A $350,000 state grant from the Minnesota Investment Fund has been awarded to Freeborn County to help a local company, SoyMor Biodiesel LLC build a new $31.6 million plant near Glenville. The project is expected to create 37 jobs.

Under the terms of the grant, Freeborn County will use the money to create a revolving loan fund, from which it will offer a low-interest loan to SoyMor for the project. The company also is contributing funds through equity and other sources.

When complete, the SoyMor facility will have a production capacity of 24 million gallons of biodiesel a year. The company was formed to allow soybean producers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa the opportunity to own and operate a biodiesel plant.

"We appreciate this program, for a number of reasons," said Freeborn County Board Chair Dave Mullenbach. "It gives a boost to our community because 37 jobs will be created. It supports our farm industry and puts us on the map because the new facility will be engaged in a biotechnology business that the nation is watching. Also, as the revolving loan is repaid, the county has additional funds to invest in the community."

Commissioner Matt Kramer of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) noted, "Thriving businesses are the key to reducing unemployment and keeping our economy strong. Loans from the Minnesota Investment Fund increase the local and state tax base and improve the economic vitality for all Minnesota citizens."

The Minnesota Investment Fund, administered by DEED, promotes job growth by providing low-interest loans to businesses to pay for land, buildings, infrastructure improvement, equipment or training. Recipients of the loans must pay at least 50 percent of the project costs through equity or other lending sources. Businesses in Minnesota or businesses that intend to locate in Minnesota are eligible.

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