MVEDC Creates $2M EDGE Revolving Loan Fund

By THERESA MILLER Executive Director, MVEDC 
The Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp. is entering 2020 with enthusiasm and confidence. With new leadership at the helm following the retirement of Michael Conway Jan. 1, and a small but mighty, knowledgeable team of six, we are excited for this year and what we will bring to the Mahoning Valley.

Since it was established in 1978, MVEDC has offered diverse loan programs to support the small-business community. 

We are a certified development corporation approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration to administer its 504, Intermediate Lending Program and 7a Community Advantage loan programs. 

We also administer a state loan fund used by manufacturing companies to take advantage of below-prime interest rates. 

And we have revolving loan funds from our own reserves matched by funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Economic Development Administration.  

Last year, MVEDC closed 36 loans to 32 companies totaling $6.64 million, which helped inject total capital financing packages of $18.4 million into the Mahoning Valley economy.  

Most important, we were awarded a $1.6 million EDA grant to create a $2 million revolving loan fund. We were able to obtain this grant largely because of our relationship with Common Wealth Inc. and our bank partners who contributed toward the required $400,000 in matching funds. 

As a result, the EDGE – Economically Disadvantaged Grow into Entrepreneurs – Fund was created.

We also diversified our SBA 504 loan portfolio and expanded our presence in Ohio by inheriting a loan portfolio from a certified development corporation that closed its doors. And we partnered with another certified development corporation to service its loan portfolio. This nearly doubled the number of SBA 504 loans that MVEDC services.

We have a very strong pipeline going into 2020 in all of our loan programs, but especially the SBA 504 with interest rates at historic lows.  

This year we expect to close one of the largest transactions in our organization’s history in collaboration with a bank partner on an SBA loan to a local auto dealership.  

We are very proud to report that we are current on our technology and process most documents electronically for maximum efficiency in our loan processes.

Still, each day it becomes more difficult for entrepreneurs to obtain capital because of regulations and economic conditions. To help overcome this challenge, MVEDC worked extremely hard in 2019 to obtain the funding to create our $2 million EDGE Fund.  

We look forward to not only getting these funds out into our community in 2020, but also to getting our team known in the communities we serve. In 2020, MVEDC will work to become more visible and increase awareness of who we are and what we do. 

Last, MVEDC owns and manages two business parks and two railways in the Mahoning Valley.  The Youngstown Commerce Park in North Jackson and the Warren Commerce Park in Warren have a combined 411 acres.  

The Economic Development Rail Corp. and The Economic Development Rail II Corp. own tracks leased to the Genesee and Wyoming Railroad. Cars on these railroads carry raw materials, finished products, commodities and scrap steel to and from numerous businesses throughout the Mahoning Valley and also to inbound and outbound destinations throughout the United States.  

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.