DeWine announces additional loans for businesses in East Palestine
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik announced on Thursday that financial support is now available for two more businesses impacted by the East Palestine train derailment.
According to a press release, Yokeley Scott Corporation LLC will be receiving a loan of $85,250 and EPA LLC will be receiving a loan of $65,285. These businesses join 18 others previously approved for financial assistance.
"As we approach the first anniversary of the East Palestine train derailment, the state continues to offer support where it is needed. The people of East Palestine are resilient and we will continue to support them for as long as it takes," DeWine said.
Despite this, however, Your Sports Network CEO DJ Yokely tells 21 News his company is currently not accepting the money due to some potential issues regarding the stipulations on how to spend the money.
According to the release, the loans are forgivable if utilized for payroll, employee benefits, utility expenses, worker protection or inventory replacement expenses related to the derailment.
However, Yokely says these stipulations could lead to some issues stating that the amount given to allocate for rent is not enough to cover it for a full year, and if he was to allocate any more, the loan may not be forgivable anymore.
Yokely says since the money was for his business, he should feel like he's in control of what it goes towards.
"The residents and businesses of East Palestine thought we were getting assistance from the state trying to help us, but instead, we get the state trying to tell us how to run our businesses," Yokely said.
Yokely says his attorney is currently looking over the paperwork for the loan and he will determine from there whether or not he will accept the money.
The East Palestine Emergency Support Program was launched in August of 2023 and the first loans were issued in December. With the addition of these two businesses, this brings the total amount of support to over $3.45 million.
A total of $5 million was made available through the program and more loan applications are currently under review. For-profit and non-profits businesses located within a two-mile radius of East Palestine that were operational on or before December 1, 2022 are eligible to apply.
Eligible businesses who are interested in applying can do so here.