Commissioners award $ 2.5 million | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN – Mahoning County commissioners on Thursday awarded nearly $ 2.5 million of the county’s $ 44 million US bailout package to Mahoning Valley Partners and Meridian Healthcare.

The $ 2 million received by Valley Partners will be used to create a revolving loan fund for businesses in Mahoning County. The $ 453,000 granted to Meridan Healthcare will enable it to improve its facilities on West Chalmers Avenue on the south side.

The prices were approved at the regular weekly meeting of the commissioners at the courthouse.

The purpose of the US bailout funding is to help communities across the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theresa Miller, executive director of Valley Partners, said the $ 2 million would be used to provide loans of up to $ 100,000 at low short-term interest rates.

“The interesting part about it is that we lend it. And as they pay it back, we can give it back, so the program will run in perpetuity and still be around 40 years from now to help those in need, even though they may or may not have been affected. by COVID, ”Miller says.

Anna DeAscentis, the county grants manager, who also assists commissioners with various federal stimulus programs, said the $ 2 million is expected to create or save about 80 jobs “and in perpetuity it could be – who knows? “

DeAscentis said loans can help a business stay open or grow, “whatever it needs.”

Miller said businesses can apply on the Valley Parters website, just like they did in previous loan programs.

In 2020, Valley Partners made 356 grants to small businesses in Mahoning County, for a total of $ 3.35 million in stimulus funds allocated to county commissioners. The organization also funded 280 Payroll Protection Program repayable loans for a total of $ 7.7 million.

The funds will “typically flow to existing small businesses, which are defined as for-profit businesses with annual sales of $ 1 million or less or meet the US Small Business Administration’s definition of small business,” according to a file. information provided by Miller. .

The business must provide documentation proving at least one of the following in order to demonstrate the negative effect COVID-19 has had on its business:

• A refusal letter from a financial institution;

• Evidence of reduced income. If the reduction is 10% to 24%, the borrower is eligible for a loan of up to $ 50,000. If the reduction is 25% or more, the borrower is eligible for a loan of up to $ 100,000.

• Some North American Industry Classification System industry codes identified by the SBA as underserved markets.

Meridian Healthcare received $ 453,760 on Thursday to continue renovations and upgrades to a former nursing home that is now a Meridian facility at 550 West Chalmers Ave. near Glenwood Avenue.

The establishment has 56 permanent accommodation rooms for formerly homeless people and people with addiction and mental health problems. It has 10 beds for homeless veterans, 16 beds for people requiring 24-hour detox, 16 beds for hospitalized men and 16 beds for hospitalized women.

It also has the only primary medical care practice in the neighborhood, said Larry Moliterno, president and CEO of Meridian. Meridian is also partnering with Mercy Health to provide a center for pregnant women struggling with mental health issues.

Moliterno said: “We have worked to support this neighborhood. So it will be used to update a lot of our security devices, a lot of our furniture and the air system to make sure it is more secure. The project is expected to be completed in the spring.

The county previously awarded Meridian $ 70,000 in CARES Act funding in August to help with Chalmers upgrades.

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