New loan program to benefit homes, farms and businesses
A new program in Portage County is making up to $2 million available to homeowners, small businesses and family farms.
Portage GrowLink, a program started by Treasurer Brad Cromes and approved by Portage County Commissioners, makes funds available for loans at reduced rates from Hometown Bank, Middlefield Banking Company and Portage Community Bank .
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Borrowers can receive up to 3% off the loan interest rate to which they would otherwise be entitled, for up to 5 years. After the discount period, interest rates return to market levels at the time of the loan.
Portage GrowLink will finance energy retrofits up to $25,000 per borrower, family farm loans up to $50,000 per borrower and small business loans up to $250,000 per borrower. The program also contains a “veteran preference” which, during periods of high demand, will give veterans of the US Armed Forces preferred access to loans.
In exchange for reduced interest rates on loans made under the program, the Office of the Treasurer will purchase investments from each lender at a similar reduced rate.
Portage GrowLink replaces the Portage County Home Improvement Program, which had been in effect since 2015 and was limited to home loans.
While the program requires the county to reduce its investment income in the short term, Cromes said that reduction will be clawed back.
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“What we give up in interest income, we get back in community investments,” he said.
Ensuring residents have the resources they need to maintain and improve their property and create jobs benefits us all.
To enroll in the scheme, residents can complete an application at Hometown Bank and Portage Community Bank branches in Ravenna and Kent, or Middlefield Banking Company branch in Mantua. Once approved, borrowers have one year to complete their projects and submit receipts to the Treasurer’s Office.
For more information, call the Treasurer’s Office at 330-297-3586, Hometown Bank at 330-677-6026, Middlefield Banking Company at 330-247-0881 or Portage Community Bank at 330-296-8090.