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CHESTERTON — Town Council member Jim Ton slapped an "open" sign on the council's dais during last week's meeting.

The Chesterton Economic Development Co. is open for business, said Ton, who also serves as the CEDC's president.

Ton said after about a year of prep and paperwork, the CEDC will begin offering low-interest loans to downtown businesses through the Chesterton Hometown Asset Maximization Program.

With $120,000 in the revolving loan fund, Ton said they are seeking applications for loans of any size and for any idea, from paint to signs, furniture and equipment.

"We are looking for them to use it to upgrade things, to bring their businesses up to date," Ton said.

The funding is left over federal facade grant money that has been sitting in the CEDC's bank.

The loans will be offered at a 2 percent interest rate with the term of the loan dependent on the amount of money borrowed. Borrowers will be required to make two payments a year towards the retirement of the loan.

The directors of the CEDC will receive and review the loan applications and forward them to the Town Council, which will make the final decision on loan recipients. Ton said there is no deadline for applications.

Applications can be found on the town's website at chestertonin.org or at the clerk-treasurer's office, 1490 Broadway.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.