COVID-19 Small Business Loan Partnership and Expansion of Emergency Response Fund


Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors votes to create the Barberton Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Loan Fund and provide further funding to the Emergency Response Fund

On Monday, March 30, the Board of Directors of Barberton Community Foundation held an emergency meeting to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Barberton and the role of the Foundation during this difficult time.

In response to the pressure COVID-19 has placed on our community’s small businesses, the Foundation board voted to create the Barberton Small Business Emergency Loan Fund, in partnership with the Barberton Community Development Corporation (BCDC) and the City of Barberton. The fund will be administered by BCDC and will be available to Barberton small businesses who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scott Wagner, Executive Director of Barberton Community Development Corporation (BCDC) said, “This decision exemplifies how important it is for the Foundation, the City, and BCDC to work together. We’ve achieved a real strategy to help our small businesses weather this crisis.”

The Barberton Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will provide $200,000 to loan to small businesses. BCDC will oversee this fund, which will provide a maximum loan amount will be $10,000 per business. Loans will be offered at 0% interest and will provide short-term (1-3 year) payment terms. Additionally, payments will be deferred for 60 days. To be eligible, a small business must be a for-profit enterprise with its principal place of business located in the City of Barberton. The business must employ a minimum of three and a maximum of twenty-five individuals for at least twenty hours per week. Businesses must demonstrate a financial need and desire to continue operations by first applying for a U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or another SBA loan program established to support small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional guidelines are available. Additionally, the business must not be in receivership or bankruptcy and cannot primarily sell tobacco products. The loan proceeds also cannot be used for vehicle or equipment lease or rental payments for personal property acquired on or prior to March 15, 2020.

Mayor William Judge stated, “I am pleased we are able to administer a useful and needed program that can have a quick turn-around for the business community. We’re here to help in any capacity needed.”

Barberton Community Foundation Board Chair Denny Liddle said he is proud of the Foundation’s ability to quickly respond. “The Barberton Community Foundation strives to position itself as a community leader, and we are proud of our quick response to COVID-19. Today we were able to build on that response and expand our commitment to the community by making funds available to BCDC and in partnership with the City of Barberton. I want to thank our board members for recognizing the need in our community and for pursuing a plan that puts us ahead of this crisis.”

Barberton small businesses can apply for this Emergency Loan Fund, along with SBA loans and the new Summit County Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program to help provide continued working capital during the pandemic. For more information on this program, please contact Scott Wagner, Executive Director of Barberton Community Development Corporation (scottwagner@BCDC.org) or Brett Fogle, Director of Finance of the Barberton Community Foundation (bfogle@barbertoncf.org).

Additionally, during the emergency meeting the Foundation board voted to approve funding of an additional $50,000 from the Foundation’s Reserve Fund to the Foundation’s new Emergency Response Fund that was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Fund was created to provide financial assistance to nonprofits responding to the broader social impact of COVID-19 in Barberton. To date, this fund has distributed over $11,000 to nonprofits working in our community thanks to the donations of private individuals and organizations.

Executive Director Dr. Suzanne Allen said, “Today’s decision shows the commitment of our board to Barberton’s successful future. I’m encouraged by the creativity and willingness of our community leaders to think and respond quickly to the needs of the community.”

The emergency fund is something board member Tina Linton is particularly proud to see. She said, “Community members immediately looked to the Foundation in concern for our children when schools closed earlier this month. It quickly became clear there were also other related community needs as well. The Foundation stepped up to collaborate with the schools, the City, food banks, and donors.”

Allen said the community has already showed their resiliency by giving to the fund. “I want to thank the individuals and businesses that have already donated to the emergency fund. In this time of uncertainty, choosing to donate is a powerful decision and makes a direct impact.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the Emergency Response Fund should visit the Foundation’s website at www.barbertoncf.org or call 330-745-5995. To donate directly online follow this link: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/bcf/restriction/EmergencyResponseFund

If you are a nonprofit organization working to provide emergency food to insecure families, working in community health, or are providing additional services needed to alleviate hardships suffered by Barberton residents please contact Suzanne Allen, Executive Director (sallen@barbertoncf.org) or Carrie Herman, Director of Community Impact (cherman@barbertoncf.org).

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