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Akron's New Revitalization Loan Fund is Up and Running

8/20/2017
Crain's Cleveland Business

Akron has a new loan fund in place to help finance projects in urban areas and especially in challenged neighborhoods, where developments likely could not qualify for a bank loan or other funding. With backing organized and partially provided by the Akron-based Development Fund for the Western Reserve (DFWR), the Akron Community Revitalization Loan Fund has about $6.75 million to lend out, at least initially, DFWR president Christopher Burnham said.
 
The money will be used to fund projects smaller than what DFWR usually takes on. The larger Western Reserve fund sets up individual limited liability corporations for most of its projects, including major hotels that it has helped finance in recent years near Kent State University and in Akron's East End development. Those and other projects often require tens of millions of dollars of capital to complete.
 
The new loan fund, which also is operating under its own separate LLC set up by DFWR, will focus on smaller projects. And unlike the regional Western Reserve fund, the new revitalization fund will be exclusively for use in Akron and focus on underserved census tracks where poverty and unemployment are high.

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