State Invests $2M in Appalachian Businesses Amid COVID-19

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Small businesses in Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties are getting some help from the state as the economy takes a hit from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, JobsOhio announced a $2 million long-term, low-interest loan made to Appalachian Growth Capital LLC to boost the organization’s ability to provide financing to small businesses in Appalachian Ohio during the pandemic. The 32 counties served by Appalachian Growth Capital include Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties, according to its website

“This partnership comes really at a very critical time when Appalachian Growth Capital is working to help more small companies in Appalachian Ohio with financing during this very difficult time,” said Gov. Mike DeWine during his daily address on Tuesday.

Appalachian Growth Capital works with local and regional banks, “as well as secondary lenders to support business in that region of the state,” he said. The lending support is intended to sustain small southeastern Ohio businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak “and create sustainable growth through the region beyond the crisis,” he said.

“JobsOhio’s assistance to Appalachian Growth Capital will boost its sustainability at a time when small businesses in the region need reliable capital and partnerships to move forward,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO in a press release. “Southeastern Ohio companies supported by AGC can be confident they will have lending support to sustain their businesses during this pandemic and to help them grow after it has passed.”

Formed in 2017 as a subsidiary of Appalachian Partnership Inc., Appalachian Growth Capital is a U.S. Treasury-Certified Community Development Financial Institution. Since it began, it has provided $100 million in financing to small businesses in its coverage area.

“This investment comes at a critical time as AGC gears up its efforts to help small businesses in the region address the economic disruptions caused by COVID-19,” said Brad Blair, Appalachian Growth Capital executive vice president and CEO. “We will be able to leverage the funds to secure additional investment in our region’s companies by commercial banks and other small business lenders.”

To date, the organization has supported the following industries:

  • Broadband: $2 million
  • Sawmill: $500,000
  • Winery:$300,000
  • Retail: $150,000
  • Meat processing: $550,000
  • Downtown investment real estate: $927,000
  • Tool manufacturing: $35,000
  • Metal fabrication:$50,000
  • Agriculture: $3,000,000
  • Oil/gas service: $750,000
  • Food manufacturing:$200,000
  • Servicing company: $290,000

Pictured: East Liverpool, Ohio, aerial (Image: Derek Jensen (Tysto) / Public domain)

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