Youngstown OKs ARP Funds for Businesses

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – City businesses will be able to apply for loans and façade grants funded by American Rescue Plan funds starting next week, a city official said Thursday following city approval of the two programs.

The city’s Board of Control – which is made up of Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, Law Director Jeff Limbian and Finance Director Kyle Miasek – approved entering into professional services agreements with Valley Partners in Liberty Township to administer the $2 million revolving loan fund program and $1 million façade grant program for the city. 

The two programs will launch Tuesday, Nikki Posterli, Brown’s chief of staff and director of the city’s department of community planning and economic development, said.

The revolving loan program will help small businesses, many of which might not have had a previous banking relationship and are unable to go to a traditional commercial lender, Brown said.

“This is a great opportunity for us,” he said. “It’s our job to either kick [the business off] or take it across the goal.”

The new façade program, which will be available for businesses throughout the city, will provide a tool for existing businesses to upgrade or help encourage new ones to come into or start in the city, he added.

The programs represented more than half of the nearly $3.6 million in spending from Youngstown’s $82.7 million American Rescue Plan allocation approved during the Thursday morning meeting. The board approved $140,000 for Building Neighborhoods of Youngstown to provide roof and house repairs in the 3rd Ward, $300,000 for the 5th Ward allocation for the Western Reserve Port Authority to administer the Mahoning Avenue Redevelopment Project, and $146,222 for Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation to provide professional services and to hire a quality of life ambassador for the 7th Ward.

In other business, the board approved paying Economic Action Group $5,000 to defray costs associated with projects and activities related to improvements and promotion of the 4th Ward, and entering into an $100,000 agreement with AECOM to conduct a redevelopment study focused on the Crab Creek Corridor.  

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