AKRON — Goodyear is donating $100,000 to the Akron Community Revitalization Loan Fund, which will provide financing for business development projects in distressed and urban areas of Akron.
With Goodyear's contribution, the fund has raised $2.9 million and steps closer to its $4.5 million goal, according to a news release.
The fund is part of the Development Fund of the Western Reserve (DFWR), which is affiliated with the Development Finance Authority of Summit County and has contracted Cleveland-based Village Capital Corp. to underwrite potential revitalization projects, the DFWR release said.
Goodyear's donation is among several during the past month or so: The Huntington-Akron Foundation contributed $250,000, and Akron Children's Hospital and FirstEnergy Corp. each donated $100,000. Plus, the DFWR announced $70,000 in donations from several local community members. Akron Children's and FirstEnergy also issued a challenge to the Akron community and other businesses to donate.
"Akron has been the home of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company since our founding 118 years ago, and we have a proud tradition and longstanding commitment to serving our community," Rich Kramer, Goodyear chairman, president and CEO, said in the news release. "We are pleased to join our many community partners to support investment to revitalize neighborhoods today and for future generations."
The revolving loan fund got off the ground when the DFWR announced it was dedicating $6.75 million in Federal New Markets Tax Credit allocations, or the equivalent of $2.25 million, to capitalize it. Before it can start lending money, though, the DFWR needs to raise $4.5 million from the community.
"The commitments from Goodyear and our other donors, to date amount to $2.9 million, demonstrate that our community can come together to provide economic development tools that will improve the City of Akron's core vibrancy," DFWR executive director Chris Burnham said in a statement.