Commissioners award $ 2.5 million | News, sports, jobs

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

The US $ 2 million Valley Partners received will be used to create a revolving loan fund for Mahoning County businesses. The US $ 453,000 award will help Meridan Healthcare improve its facility on West Chalmers Avenue on the South Side.

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

The purpose of funding the American Rescue Plan is to help communities across the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

“The interesting thing is that we loan it out. And if they repay it, we can pass it on so that the program will continue in the long run and will still be there in 40 years to help those in need, even if they may or may not be affected by COVID, ”said Müller.

Anna DeAscentis, the county grant manager who also assists commissioners on various federal stimulus programs, said the $ 2 million is estimated to create or save about 80 jobs, “and then it could be permanent – who knows ? “

DeAscentis said the loans can help a company stay open or expand “whatever it takes”.

Miller said companies can apply on the Valley Parters website, just as they did with the previous loan programs.

In 2020, Valley Partners paid 356 Mahoning County’s small business grants totaling $ 3.35 million to stimulus funds allocated to county commissioners. The organization also funded 280 forgivable loans from the Payroll Protection Program for a total of $ 7.7 million.

Funds are “generally paid to existing small businesses that are defined as for-profit businesses with annual sales of $ 1 million or less or otherwise meet the US Small Business Administration’s definition of small business,” according to a fact sheet provided by Miller.

The company must provide documentation to demonstrate at least one of the following in order to demonstrate the adverse effects of COVID-19 on its business:

• A letter of rejection from a financial institution;

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

• Certain North American industry classification system industry codes that have been identified as underserved markets by the SBA.

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

The facility has 56 permanent living rooms for the formerly homeless, addicts and the mentally ill. It has 10 beds for homeless veterans, 16 beds for people in need of a 24-hour detox, 16 beds for men in inpatient treatment, and 16 beds for women in inpatient treatment.

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

Moliterno said: “We have worked to support this neighborhood. So it’s used to update a lot of our security features, a lot of our furniture, and the air system to make sure it’s safer. ”The project is scheduled to be completed in the spring.

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

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