Economic Development Loan Program

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was enacted in 1974 to provide block grant funding for community development programs. The program assists urban, suburban, and rural communities to improve housing and living conditions and expand economic opportunities for low and moderate income persons. CDBG helps to create jobs though the expansion and retention of businesses and is a great tool for helping local governments overcome serious challenges facing their communities. CDBG funds are used to partner with the private and non-profit sectors to support economic development and improve community conditions. The City of Barberton, through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), has created a program to provide loans to property owners for Economic Development Purposes. The main purpose of this program is to assist with small project improvements that may be holding back a business from opening and creating jobs in the City of Barberton. CDBG is federally funded; therefore all projects that receive two thousand dollars ($2,000) or more will be subject to Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage requirements. If CDBG were eliminated, Ohio would lose $137,466,074 in direct community investments and approximately $507,751,170 in leveraged community investments for FY 2018.

Project Eligibility:

All applicants must fill out an application to be considered for a loan. All work being done must be for a commercial building located in the City of Barberton. Our program is available to businesses and property owners for work to be performed on first and second floor space with an active street presence. Funds cannot be used to correct outstanding code violations, for property damage by collision, acts of nature or occurrences covered by insurance. Only work begun after approval by the Committee will be eligible for funds. All work must comply with the City of Barberton laws, building code requirements, and applicable regulations.

Elements that are eligible include, but are not limited to:

  • Installation of safety glass;
  • Reconfiguration of existing doors and entrances;
  • Repair or replacement of existing window systems;
  • Internal building modifications or upgrades;
  • In certain cases specialized business equipment;
  • Lease payments;
  • Providing jobs predominantly for homeless persons;
  • Providing jobs predominantly for low-skilled, low-and moderate-income persons, where the business agrees to provide clear opportunities for promotion and economic advancement, such as through the provision of training;
  • Directly involves the economic development or redevelopment of environmentally contaminated properties;
  • Provide goods or services to residents of an area, such that the number of low-and moderate-income persons residing in the areas served by the assisted businesses amounts to at least one low-and moderate-income person per $350 of CDBG funds used.

Ineligible elements include:

  • Payroll and/or parking;
  • Sidewalks and light posts;
  • Streetscape features (plantings, benches, etc);
  • Signage not connected to the building;
  • Tax delinquent property;
  • Property whose owner has any other tax delinquent property;
  • Property in litigation;
  • Property in condemnation or receivership;
  • Uninsured property;
  • Spaces that are not deemed as proper retail or commercial space;
  • Façade improvements;
  • General promotion of the community as a whole or assistance to professional sports teams;
  • Assistance to privately-owned recreational facilities that serve a predominantly higher-income clientele, where the recreational benefit to users or members clearly outweighs employment or other benefits to low-and moderate-income persons
  • Acquisition of land for which the specific proposed use has not yet been identified

Application Review & Process:

It is recommended that potential applicants contact the Planning Department to evaluate their eligibility for the program. Please note that applications must be received and reviewed by the Project Review Committee BEFORE any work begins or a lease is signed. Loans will not be awarded to projects that are under construction or completed. All work must comply with the City’s Building Department Code requirements and all relevant permits and inspections are required.

The Community Development Administrator will determine if the submitted application package is sufficiently complete to review. When an application is deemed complete, it will be taken to the Project Review Committee. The Project Review Committee generally meets once a month. You will be notified after the meeting if it has been determined whether the project will receive an award. The Community Development Administrator will notify you in writing of the approval/denial of the application. You can then expect to receive an official loan offer. Should you accept the loan offer, you will then be required to submit any outstanding documentation. Award recipients will be required to execute a legally binding agreement in the presence of a notary with the City to complete the loan process.

NOTE: The City has limited funds and loans are offered on a first come first serve basis. This program will require a lien guarantee to be placed on real estate property held in Ohio as collateral for the duration of the loan.

Application packages must include enough documentation to illustrate the visual impact of the project and its costs. Failure to provide required information will delay the review process.

The Project Review Committee reserves the right to refuse reimbursements in whole or in part for work that:

  • Does not conform to the program design guidelines.
  • Does not conform to the proposals submitted with your application and authorized by the Project Review Committee.
  • Are not commensurate with the workmanship and cost customary to the industry.
  • Are not completed within 6 months. Since the Committee cannot reserve funds indefinitely, your grant may be subject to cancellation if not completed or significant progress hasn’t been made by the completion date. Request for extensions will be considered only if made in writing and progress towards completion has been demonstrated.

The Project Review Committee reserves the right to offer loan amounts different than what is requested by the potential borrower.

The Economic Development Loan has an 80/20 Match requirement. The loan can pay up to a maximum 80% of the total cost of a project and the applicant will be responsible for the 20% match. THIS LOAN IS REIMBURSABLE UPON COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT.  FUNDS WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED UNTIL ALL PAPERWORK AND REQUIREMENTS ARE SATISFIED.

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