A $3.65 million government loan to a woman-owned Kansas City manufacturing business was signed by Commmerce Secretary Juanita Kreps yesterday -- the largest loan guarantee approved under a Executive Order issued in May to assist women in business.
Secretary Kreps called the joint federal-private effort the type of action that "carried out the president's policy of strengthening women's business enterprise."
The Economic Development Administration loan guarantees 90 percent of a $3.65 million bank loan to Midwest Metal Products Inc.
The firm, operating out of a World War II aircraft hanger, performs speciality and machine shop services such a fabricating metals parts and pieces.
Nelma J. Andrew, presient of chief executive officer, accepted the loan to be used toward constructing and equiping a plant in a Kansas City redevelopment area. As a result of the loan the work force is expected one-third of whom will be women and minorities.
"This is a vehicle to pursue one of my dreams," said Andrew. "I believe I can make whatever I want happen for my life."
She said that the loan eventually will help create 500 or more jobs during the next seven to 10 years.
Andrew has a gained reputation as a trouble shooter for taking floundering manufacturing businesses and turning them into profitable enterprises, according to Commerce Department sources.
From 1975 to 1978, Andrew took charge of a "badly abused" agri-manufacturing business and produced increases of 52 percent in sales and 60 percent in net profits at the end of the period.
Since acquiring controlling interest in the deficit-ridden Kansas firm three months ago, she has turned it into a profit-making company. t"I would like to congratulate Presient Carter for coming through with the $3 million," said Lynda Johnson Robb representing the President's Advisroy Committee for Women. Offering similar tributes along with Robb and Secretary Kreps were Rep. Lindy Boggs (D-La.), Assistant Secretary Robert T. Hall, and Sen. Nancy Kassebaun (R-Kan.).
The loan is part of efforts by an Interagency Committee on Women's Business Enterprise to encourage more federal-private financial support for women-owned companies.
As part of its new policy, for supporting women in business, the Small Business Administration, for example, has agreed to a $50 million goal for direct loans to women in the 1980 fiscal year.
And according to Beverly Milkman, special assistant for economic development, the EDA alone will make available $18 billion in private-sector guaranteed loans in 1980 compared with $425 million in fiscal 1979.
In addition, $150 million in direct loans will be made available in 1980 compared with $55 million this year. And a fund also has been established to help subsidize interest payments.
The 20-year loan, extended by the Home State Bank of Kansas City, was matched by $645,000 in equity capital from the Kansas firm to complete the $4.3 million total cost of the project.