MVEDC Provides $7M in Business Loans in 2016

Editor’s Note: The following story is from Growth Report 2017, published by The Business Journal.

By Michael R. Conway, MVEDC Executive Director

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp. completed another successful year in 2016 of helping businesses grow and create employment opportunities. Using our affiliate activities and a variety of loan programs we administer, MVEDC directly assisted 78 businesses that collectively made more than $19 million in investments in 2016.

MVEDC’s GrowBiz Fund loan department provided 38 loans last year to 35 local businesses. Our loan total of $6,959,257 represents a 90% increase in dollars lent over 2015. We partnered with 10 banks on these projects and we thank our bank partners for the opportunity to work together to make positive change in the Mahoning Valley.

MVEDC is a certified development corporation approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration. We can provide financial assistance to companies doing business anywhere in Ohio as well as in Beaver, Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania. We work cooperatively throughout the region with all development agencies.

MVEDC administers the Procurement Technical Assistance Center for Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. This program provides technical assistance to businesses that are interested in securing government contracts.

In 2016, the program helped secure 43 awards for local businesses that generated more than $3.9 million in revenues derived from government contracts.

MVEDC owns and manages two business parks. The Youngstown Commerce Park in North Jackson and the Warren Commerce Park in Warren have a combined total of 411 acres of appropriately zoned land. Both business parks have shovel-ready sites ready for immediate development.

Businesses operating in the parks are diverse with more than one million square feet under roof and collectively employ more than 600. Both business parks are fully improved, including utilities, roadways, railroad access, and offer convenient access to the interstate highway system.

The Economic Development Rail Corp. and The Economic Development Rail II Corp., which are both affiliates of MVEDC, experienced a very active year of railcar hauling with our partner, The Genesee & Wyoming Railroad.

In 2016, 299 railroad cars were hauled on the Youngstown & Austintown and the Warren & Trumbull railroads. Cars carried 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 U.S. For a business contemplating a new location, land and buildings are available contiguous to the short-line railroads.

Our 2017 new initiatives include implementing the community advantage loan program as a new source of capital for our businesses, creating a loan program targeted to minority and women-owned businesses and managing the back-office operation of Valley Growth Ventures LLV.

We will also continue to make improvements to our operations infrastructure and invest in MVEDC staff training and professional development.

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