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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Local florist defaults on county loan

By Shelley Grieshop
CELINA - A florist with multiple stores in the area defaulted on a $60,000 revolving loan from the Mercer County Economic Development Office.
Daniel J. Deloye, who operates six Abloom flowers and gifts stores, was awarded the low-interest loan in 2001 to help purchase the retail store in Coldwater on West Main Street. Deloye and his wife, Cheryl, paid approximately $16,000 toward the loan but ceased making payments.
Jared Ebbing, director of the economic development agency that administers the loans, said his office recovered approximately another $21,000 from the Deloyes at the loan closing. The remaining outstanding loan amount will be written off as a loss, Ebbing said. County commissioners were informed of the action Tuesday.
Of the 95 revolving loans issued since the local program debuted in 1991, only nine have been defaulted upon by recipients.
"Of those nine, we've recovered some money back from five," Ebbing said. "That's not a bad track record."
Several Abloom stores in the area have "for sale" signs posted. A message left Tuesday for Daniel Deloye was not returned by press time this morning.
The mortgage on the Coldwater building was released by the economic development office and the lien removed. The building was purchased two weeks ago by Theresa and Jerry Jutte, owners of Roger's Flowers & Gifts - a store located on the same downtown block.
Theresa Jutte told The Daily Standard this morning she plans to move her business at 119 W. Main St. to the new building by July 1.
The county's revolving loan program is funded through proceeds from grants received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Ohio Department of Development. Locally, it has helped create more than 900 jobs in Mercer County, officials say. Funds can be used for fixed assets such as land, buildings, machinery and equipment, as well as working capital for an expansion of an existing business or new start-up business.
Ebbing said the revolving loans are an excellent resource to help extend credit to new and current businesses. Sometimes the extra funding can bridge a gap between the amount other lending institutions can offer and businesses still seek, he said.
"I'd really like to see the program expand. It's a good tool locally," he added.
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