June 20, 2011; Source: Kansas City Star | Tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., will get some help with its rebuilding efforts from a newly announced foundation.  The Joplin Tomorrow Foundation, which is being seeded with $1 million in startup funds, hopes to raise about $10 million to be used for low-interest and no interest loans to businesses hurt when the tornado roared through the city May 22.

The foundation also will assist companies that want to relocate to Joplin.  One of the first donors to the foundation is the St. Louis-based Danforth Foundatin, which is contributing $500,000.  Former Missouri Senator Jack Danforth and the state’s current senator Roy Blunt announced the foundation at a news conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. 

“Just as New Orleans is now beginning to thrive, so can Joplin,” said Danforth.  “Joplin Tomorrow is a critical tool for securing that future.”  Blunt said he is “confident Joplin Tomorrow will help restore the business community and attract new private-sector job creators as we work to rebuild.”

According to the Kansas City Star, the tornado, which struck the city and surrounding areas, damaged more than 450 businesses and left nearly 5,000 people out of work. The region has since been declared a federal disaster area and has been approved more than $13 million in aid.—Bruce S. Trachtenberg