Summit County is launching its first revolving loan fund for businesses.
The program, expected to begin early next year with $400,000, will offer loans for everything from start-up capital to physical expansions.
The county set aside $150,000 this year from Community Development Block Grant money for the effort. Cascade Capital Corp. of Akron, which will manage the program for the county, agreed to invest $250,000.
The county might dedicate another $100,000 next year, said Connie Krauss, director of the county Department of Community and Economic Development.
Of the county’s share, $50,000 is available for micro-loans of $1,000 to $10,000. The largest loan available will be $50,000.
The county will charge 5 percent interest, Krauss said.
County Councilwoman Ilene Shapiro said there are limited opportunities for loans, especially micro-loans, in the community.
“This is a very worthwhile opportunity,” she said.
The council is expected to approve the program at its meeting tonight.
Cascade Capital, an economic development finance company, will be paid $7,500 to manage the program. The company now handles U.S. Small Business Administration and state loans.
Executive Director Robert Filipiak said the firm wanted to use some of its discretionary funds “to further economic development in Summit County.”
Businesses seeking loans will apply through Cascade Capital, and a loan committee will determine who receives money. Because the loan fund involves CDBG money, it cannot be used for projects in Akron, Barberton or Cuyahoga Falls, which have their own CDBG programs.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.