Akron Children’s Hospital and FirstEnergy Corp. are donating $100,000 each to help create a new fund designed to spur economic development in Akron.
Akron Children’s President and CEO Bill Considine and FirstEnergy President and CEO Chuck Jones also are challenging other local businesses to support the program, which has had difficulty attracting donations.
The Akron Community Revitalization Loan Fund, which will be overseen by the Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA), is designed to provide small loans to help launch projects — everything from rehabbing buildings to opening new businesses — in distressed census tracts.
The DFA needs $4.5 million to begin the effort but has only $2.45 million so far.
The fund also has received grants from the Medical Mutual Community Investment Fund, GAR Foundation, Summit County, Home Savings Bank, Akron Community Foundation and Allio Family Fund.
“We are grateful to FirstEnergy and Akron Children’s Hospital for their leadership and commitment to the Akron Community Revitalization Fund,” DFA President Chris Burnham said in a prepared statement.
The program will “provide economic development tools that will improve the city of Akron’s core vibrancy,” he added. “We look forward to partnering with other funders to capitalize on this important opportunity.”
The DFA agreed to create the fund after receiving $45 million in New Markets Tax Credits. Congress created the New Markets Tax Credit Program in 2000, allowing entities such as the DFA’s Development Fund of the Western Reserve to provide taxpayers with financial incentives for local economic development.
For more details about the fund, go to: www.developmentfinanceauthority.org/.