Akron, Ohio (January 2018) The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) has announced the winners of the 2017 CDFA Excellence in Development Finance Awards. These awards honor excellence in the use of financing tools for economic development, as well as individuals who champion these efforts. “With the number of impressive projects that we have seen this year, this year’s recipients are model examples of what is currently taking place in the development finance industry. We are proud and excited to honor this year’s recipients, which include the Development Finance Authority of Summit County and the Development Fund of the Western Reserve” said by Toby Rittner, CDFA President & CEO.
The CDFA Excellence in Development Finance Program Award is presented to a development finance agency that has implemented an innovative new or particularly successful program. This year’s honor was bestowed to Development Finance Authority of Summit County and Development Fund of the Western Reserve for creating and capitalizing the Akron Community Revitalization Loan Fund (ACRF). The ACRF was started to provide financing for business and community development projects within distressed areas/neighborhoods in Akron, and began when DFWR dedicated a $6.75M New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to the Program, In addition to the NMTC allocation, which provided $2.25M cash equity, DFWR raised over $2M through local philanthropic and corporate grants while also obtaining private loan and investment funding through PNC Bank and Akron Development Fund, which is affiliated with Greater Akron Chamber. The ACRF is designed to provide loans between $500K and $2M. Loan underwriting has less strict credit requirements and the Fund provides seven-year interest-only loans at a below market interest rate of 2.4%.