Provo and Orem high-tech businesses will soon have an opportunity to apply for special business loans.

Provo and Orem have nearly $1.4 million to help stimulate the development of new technology, Provo Redevelopment Director Ron Madsen told Provo's City Council Tuesday.A federal grant of $970,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be combined with Provo's existing Revolving Loan Fund. Provo has budgeted $100,000 for its fund, said Madsen. The Revolving Loan Fund has been in place for three years.

Madsen said the state has also provided a matching grant. Orem and Provo each contribute $100,000 and the state matches that amount with $200,000.

The fund is for new technology, said Madsen. Companies that already have a working product but need capital to expand can benefit from the Revolving Loan Fund, if they qualify.

The Provo-Orem area has had more success at growing their own companies than recruiting outside companies to come in, said Madsen. The fund is to help companies like those that grow out of research at BYU.

"What we'd like to do is grow companies like Dinex, WordPerfect and Novell," said Madsen.

Madsen said the Revolving Loan Fund is to help a company that is having a difficult time getting a loan.

The purpose of the fund, said Madsen, is to broaden the tax base, provide jobs and to diversify the economy.

The loan fund works through a Community Development Block Grant process. Greg Hudnall, principal of Provo's Independence High School, is one of seven citizens serving on the task force for the development grant.

Hudnall said that now that the Revolving Loan Plan has had public hearings and is approved by the City Council, the board will be expanded to include local business leaders.