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LaFrance Cleaners gets $100K grant for upgrades

YOUNGSTOWN — LaFrance Cleaners plans to use $100,000 in bond financing and $20,000 from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority to replace aging dry-cleaning equipment.

Replacing the equipment, according to the development authority’s funding announcement Wednesday, will eliminate the use of perchloroethylene (PERC), a known carcinogen, and allow for the use of new, more environmentally conscious solvents.

LaFrance Cleaners is a third-generation dry-cleaning business in Youngstown with a central production facility on Glenwood Avenue in Youngstown and stores in Boardman and Youngstown.

It also has seven pick-up and delivery routes.

The lender financing and grant is through the development authority’s Clean Air Resource Center. It 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 the principal amount.

The development authority is a nonregulatory government agency created to help Ohio businesses comply with and go beyond clean air regulations. It was created in 1970.

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