COLUMBUS — During last week’s Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) board meeting, the authority approved two projects with bond financing totaling up to $165,000 to support air quality enhancements at Batt and Stevens Inc. in Defiance, and Pride Dry Cleaners, LLC in Holland. The financing is provided through OAQDA’s Clean Air Resource Center (CARC), which makes clean air compliance easily accessible and affordable for Ohio small businesses.

Batt and Stevens was approved for up to $115,000 in financing along with a $20,000 grant through the CARC program. Pride Dry Cleaners was approved for up to $50,000 in financing and a $10,000 grant.

The OAQDA board also passed a resolution recognizing the resilience and renewal of Ohio small businesses during National Small Business Week. OAQDA has, since the inception of its work, supported more than 100 small businesses investing in air quality projects which bolster job creation and retention, reduce harmful air pollutants or toxic chemicals, and improve the health and safety of employees and local communities. OAQDA formally expresses gratitude for Ohio’s many small businesses, especially those who have participated in the CARC program to improve the air we breathe.

“The Authority is proud to support Ohio businesses in their efforts to reduce air emissions and improve Ohioans’ health and overall wellbeing, and the approved projects are especially notable as we recognize National Small Business Week,” said Christina O’Keeffe, executive director of OAQDA. “We look forward to working with these long-standing family-owned businesses to achieve their sustainability goals and grow within their communities.”

Batt and Stevens, operating in Defiance County for more than 38 years, offers full-service automobile collision repair and painting services, specializing in late model, foreign and domestic vehicles. This approved project is part of the company’s expansion plans and includes the installation of a new spray paint booth that is expected to reduce air emissions and will support a healthier working environment for employees. The project also will help the company add two new full-time positions.

OAQDA is committed to serving the economic and environmental needs of Ohio small businesses and communities as they strive to reduce air emissions in protecting the air we breathe while increasing their economic growth. Through CARC, OAQDA offers financing packages that are structured to suit the needs of individual projects, which are incentivized with tax benefits using conduit bonds and grants to help small businesses cover a portion of project costs.

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