LaFrance Cleaners Gets $120,000 from Air Quality Authority for Upgrades

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – LaFrance Cleaners has closed on $100,000 in bond financing from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, as well as a $20,000 grant from the agency.

The funds will be used to replace the dry-cleaning business’ aging equipment, which uses perchloroethylene, a known carcinogen. It will also allow LaFrance to use newer, more environmentally conscious solvents.

“LaFrance Cleaners is making an important investment to improve its operations and promote a healthier environment, and we applaud their commitment to taking the right steps to improve air quality,” said Christina O’Keeffe, executive director of Air Quality Development Authority, in a statement. “We are committed to supporting Ohio small businesses, like LaFrance Cleaners, that want to exceed the current standards of the Clean Air Act.”

Founded in 1945, LaFrance Cleaners is a third-generation business with its central site on Glenwood Avenue in Youngstown, as well as two stores – in Boardman and Poland – and seven pick-up and delivery routes.

“I want to thank the OAQDA for making it possible for us to upgrade our technology to eliminate the use of [perchloroethylene] at our dry-cleaning plant,” said Stephen Weiss, owner of LaFrance Cleaners. “They were easy to work with and helped us throughout the application process.”

The Air Quality Development Authority’s Clean Air Resource Center offers financing packages that are structured to suit the needs of individual projects, incentivized with tax benefits using conduit bonds and grants to to help small businesses cover a portion of the principal amount.

Pictured: LaFrance Cleaners received $120,000 to replace its aging equipment.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.