Cuyahoga County Executive promotes county loan buying program, updates about small business loans

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health holds press conference updating citizens on the coronavirus pandemic on Friday mornings.

The weekly briefing of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health on May 29 began with Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish honoring the dean of the Case Western University Medical School, Dr. Pamela Davis, who is stepping down form the position. Budish thanked Davis for her efforts in disease prevention, for working with the county and creating a population health liaison which is currently held by Dr. Heidi Gullett, and for allowing medical students to work with the county. Davis then took the podium and said that she was proud of the work that CWRU had done and continued to do, saying that especially during this pandemic, “I hope that shows you that we are not sitting in our ivory tower twiddling our thumbs we are trying to make what we do relevant to the health of human beings and I had hoped that it would not be tested in quite this way but the fac that it is and the fact that we have stepped up in the laboratory among our students and in the public health physician interface makes me very proud.”

500 businesses will receive $2,500 grants and an additional 250 businesses will receive $5,000 grants to pay staff, rent and other things to keep businesses afloat

Budish then pivoted to discuss Destination Cleveland’s “undefeated” program, in conjunction with the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The program’s goal, Budish said, is to help people feel safe and to be safe at our restaurants, hotels and other businesses as they open up.

Budish then gave an update on the small business stabilization fund, saying that 500 businesses will receive $2,500 grants and an additional 250 businesses will receive $5,000 grants to pay staff, rent and other things to keep businesses afloat.

He then discussed how cities in the area are struggling, and said that the county is able to buy “municipal obligations from political subdivisions like cities, townships, villages and school districts.”

He went on to explain that if a city borrowed money for a specific project and would normally pay investors back with interest for the project. Budish said the county can actually buy those notes from cities and then cities would instead of paying investors would pay the county back at a lower interest rate.

Budish said the county has used this for cities like Euclid, Seven Hills and Broadview Heights and said he thinks during the pandemic it could be incredibly useful for cities.

“This year with the COVID crisis, the big institutions, the ones that buy these notes they were not buying, nobody was buying, that would mean that if the county wasn’t involved a city would either have to go into their reserves to pay off the note or default and in either case it could be a terrible disaster using this investment tool that the county created.”