Release Date: October 14,2020

The City of Akron and the Western Reserve Community Fund Launch the Akron Resiliency Fund for Small Businesses

Applications for loans ups to $70,000 available today!

Akron, Ohio, October 14, 2020 — Today, Mayor Horrigan has announced that the City of Akron is partnering with the Western Reserve Community Fund (WRCF) to launch the Akron Resiliency Fund (the “Fund”). WRCF is a non-profit managed by the Development Finance Authority of Summit County. The Fund will provide low-cost small business loans to help stabilize Akron’s small businesses. Long term, this fund will continue in perpetuity, supporting growth in the small business community of Akron while encouraging further investment in our local economy. The application is available starting today, October 14 at http://www.developmentfinanceauthority.org/services/akron-resiliency-fund/.

The Fund will partner with existing support programs and organizations like Great Streets, Rubber City Match, the Urban League, and the Bounce Innovation Hub to provide both technical assistance and critical capital for Akron small businesses, particularly in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The goal of the Fund is to create and retain quality, living wage jobs within Akron, with a lens of inclusive workforce development. Accordingly, loans will be made to maintain or grow existing businesses, as well as to start new businesses and employers as appropriate.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge strain on individuals and businesses alike," said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. "To meet the evolving challenges and pivot to deliver goods and services as safely as possible in this current climate, small businesses need flexible capital. We are confident that this new loan fund will be able to provide just that. The need for business support is ever-growing – and as a City, we must rise to meet that need to support the small businesses that are the backbone of our communities."

The Fund will be seeded with capital from the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation from U.S. Housing and Urban Development, and will ideally leverage capital from local philanthropic sources, accredited individual investors, regional banks, and national investment partners.

The loan amounts will vary between $10,000 and $70,000, depending on business needs. The funding will be used for items like payroll, working capital, equipment, and refinancing debt. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and at least 25% of those employees must be Akron residents. The business must have annual gross revenues of less than $3 million. Some businesses/organizations are not eligible for the fund, including non-profits. To see if your business is eligible please click here.

"WRCF is thrilled to partner with the City of Akron to create the Akron Resiliency Fund," said Rachel Bridenstine, Executive Director of the Western Reserve Community Fund. "Providing access to equitable and flexible capital matters now more than ever, and we are grateful for the opportunity to structure a fund that will offer immediate and long-term support to Akron’s small and startup businesses."

Applications will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis, however the City has structured the loan pool to ensure an equitable distribution of loans with consideration for the following:

  • Geography: Loans will be available only to businesses located within a low to moderate income census tract, as defined by U.S. Census Bureau, within the City of Akron. To find out if your business is located in an eligible area please click here.
  • Jobs: Loans will be available only to businesses whose employees are (or will be) at least 25% Akron residents
  • Industry type: Loans will be available across a wide variety of businesses
  • Ownership demographics: Loans will be available to Akron business owners of all demographics

To learn more about the details of the loan and to apply, please visit http://www.developmentfinanceauthority.org/services/akron-resiliency-fund/ or call the Development Finance Authority at (330) 762-4776.