Brass Eye’s revolving loan payments extended, new businesses encouraged to apply

Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

NILES — The Niles City Council moved to approve interest-only revolving loan payments through December 2022 for Brian Williams and The Brass Eye.

According to the city website, the city of Niles administers a revolving loan fund program that is available for loan and grant projects considered eligible by the state of Michigan. The RLF is an economic development tool that is based on partnerships between private businesses and the city that works by providing loans to businesses that cannot locate or expand in Niles with traditional financing sources alone.

The aim of the RLF is to generate economic activity that will lead to the creation of jobs for low-and moderate-income individuals. Loans may be used for land and building acquisition, construction, machinery and equipment acquisition, or for working capital. Businesses that benefit from the program are required to create one job for every $15,000 that is borrowed.

A majority of the jobs that are created must be provided to low- and moderate-income individuals.

“The revolving loan exists really to try to help small businesses, especially in downtown,” Huff said. “When they’re in financial straits and they’re in a position where they really can’t borrow funding from a typical financial institution, this helps.”

The Brass Eye’s original loan was for $18,506.15 and the current balance is $17,678.15, with the principal and interest payment being $407 per month. With the motion approved by the council, the Brass Eye will make interest-only payments of $38.30 per month for the next 12 months.

Councilmember John DiCostanzo added that the city’s revolving loan program still has a significant balance and that new businesses in need should take advantage.

“We do have money to loan out to future businesses,” he said. “I would have voted differently if I thought we were adversely impacting the balance available to loan out to new businesses but since we do have a good balance, I think it’s prudent for the city to support this request because we will get some money back. If the business fails, we won’t get any money back to put into that fund to help future businesses.”