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YNDC Taking Applications for Small Business Loans - The Business Journal

In an effort to help small businesses here grow, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. is taking applications for equipment loans for anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 until Oct. 15.

Liberty Merrill, YNDC land re-use director, says applications are open to any startup or business that employs five or fewer, provided the business is in Youngstown and the owner lives in the city. Other factors will also play into whether the credits are granted, she adds.

“We do have a limited amount of funds, so there will be criteria in order for you to benefit -- [things such as] are they low-income individuals? Are they hiring? And, is it a business that's likely to succeed? All these [considerations] will be gone over when we're evaluating the application,” Merrill says.

The loans will be awarded in November, Merrill adds.

“It's a little bit different from a bank because it has that process. Instead of doing it on a rolling basis for approval, people won't be approved until November,” she explains. “This is not for people who go, 'Oh, something broke and I need a new one.' It's for things that will be needed in the future to expand your business.”

The loans will have a 2% annual interest rate. YNDC chose the figure, Merrill says, to ease the burden on the businesses approved.

“We're hoping it will allow them to start up or expand, maybe even hire more people. We want this to be an economic benefit to the city,” she states. “We're hoping that, with favorable terms and being flexible to how many years they need [to repay], that this will be a leg up for small businesses that might have a difficult time.”

With no restriction on the types of businesses that can apply, YNDC expects a wide variety to come forward. Merrill says she fully expects restaurants and landscaping companies to apply, but companies in other sectors, such as hair salons, might as well.

The loans will be a pilot program to determine whether YNDC expands its mission into micro-businesses, she adds.

Loan applications are available in the YNDC office, at 820 Canfield Road, and by emailing Merrill at

To read the full story from The Business Journal, click here.