Each of the regional councils in Alabama works to improve the quality of life for residents through a number of community and economic development programs and technical assistance to local governments. Regional councils’ staff do this through the preparation, submission and management of grants, administering a revolving loan fund, local planning, and coordination and distribution of information.

Economic Development
Regional councils assist local governments, businesses and industries in obtaining the necessary infrastructure, and/or financing for the creation or retention of jobs in their region. Assistance that is provided includes site preparation grants, industrial access grants, and other economic development grants.

Revolving Loan Funds
Each regional council operates a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) for the purpose of assisting small local businesses and industries in their start-up and expansion activities. The goal of the program is to create new jobs for citizens of Alabama. The RLF provides gap financing that is not available from commercial lenders. A Loan Review Committee is responsible for approving or disapproving loan applications.

The RLF Program is an important economic development tool which consists of locally controlled capital being used to finance new or expanding businesses to create or retain jobs. The program targets small to medium sized businesses and small manufacturing companies.

Generally, RLF Funds can be used to purchase land or buildings, construct or renovate buildings, purchase equipment and machinery, and provide working capital.

Interest rates on RLF loans are below prime and determined by project need for up to 1/3 of the total project cost. RLFs complement local banking resources providing “gap” financing or secondary sources of funds.

Geographic Information Systems
Geographic Information Systems in the regional council offices enable staff to provide numerous mapping services and location-specific data including topography, historic sites, hazardous materials sites, tourism attractions, traffic patterns, countywide addressing, voting districts, zoning and other critical information.