Castlo Establishes Loan Fund to Aid Virus Recovery

STRUTHERS, Ohio – The Castlo Community Improvement Corp. has established a new loan program in partnership with the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp. to fund businesses in Castlo’s footprint.

Any small businesses that needs assistance in recovering from the coronavirus in communities served by Castlo – Campbell, Lowellville, Struthers, Coitsville and Poland Township – are eligible for up to $15,000 from The Rebuild Fund.

“Many of our local restaurants, retail stores and small shops could benefit from the addition of signage for social distancing, plexiglass barriers and maybe a little more marketing to remind the public, Hey, we’re here!’ ” said Randy Partika, the Castlo board chairman, in a statement announcing the fund. “Many of the smaller stores and eateries are still finding creative ways of practicing social distancing while preserving the atmosphere their customers love. The Rebuild Fund is designed to accomplish that.”

Loans will be issued at a rate of 3% and a term of up to 18 months. All payments will be deferred for six months, though interest will accrue over that time. A $50 borrower fee to cover the cost of closing the loan will be attached to loans under $5,000; for loan more than $5,000, the fee is $100. 

There are no prepayment penalties or collateral requirements. 

“The Rebuild Fund is a beginning,” said Sarah Lown, Castlo’s executive director. “Businesses seeking additional small business assistance, bigger loans in the future or additional resources can partner with Castlo and MVEDC so they can rebuild to become stronger than ever.”

Added Teresa Miller, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp.: “MVEDC is thrilled to partner with Castlo to help businesses that have been affected by this pandemic.”

For more information about the loan program or to apply, contact Castlo finance chairman and MVEDC senior loan officer Mario Nero at 330 759 3669 or

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.