View All News Items

    $2.2 Million Loan Fund Supporting Creative Small Businesses

    10/7/2020
    The fund will prioritize creative businesses located in low-income communities, those owned by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) or serving a diverse market, and those located in small towns and rural communities. Under the program’s definition, creative businesses include craft manufacturers, arts schools, architecture, design and fabrication firms, media companies, and visual and performing arts production agencies.

    “Economic impact research persuasively demonstrates how creative businesses are important drivers of employment and economic vibrancy,” said Blischke. “These businesses invaluably contribute to the livability, employment, and vitality of our commonwealth. Across Pennsylvania alone, arts and cultural economic activity contributed $25.8 billion to the state’s economy and 176,000 jobs, in 2017. Creative for-profit businesses, such as those eligible for the loan fund, add to this economic activity and, if supported, are positioned to play a critical role in helping the commonwealth’s cities and towns recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.”

    Eligible loan uses will include working capital; equipment purchases; renovations to retail, production, or office space; and, in limited cases, building acquisitions. Loan amounts will vary, ranging from a few thousand dollars to an average loan size of $75,000, though Bridgeway and Community First will consider requests up to $250,000.

    “With the PA Council on the Arts’ investment, Bridgeway’s Creative Business Accelerator will channel more flexible and patient capital into the arts and cultural ecosystem to help it maximize a recovery economy,” says T.J. Bogdewic, President and CEO, Bridgeway Capital.

    “We greatly appreciate the efforts of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and their support of creative businesses. Community First Fund has served many arts-focused businesses that play important roles in enhancing our communities, said Daniel Betancourt, President and CEO of Community First Fund. “This partnership will increase our capacity to provide these clients with loans and technical assistance.”
    The fund will be supported with small business technical assistance provided by Bridgeway and Community First, each holding responsibility for deploying 50 percent of the total available loan capital. Both Bridgeway Capital and the Community First Fund are nonprofit community development financial institutions (CDFIs) with track records of making investments that benefit low-income individuals and communities in Pennsylvania. CDFIs are community institutions certified by the U.S. Treasury that provide financial products and services to their communities. CDFIs provide services beyond those typically offered by conventional lenders, including community outreach programs, business resources, and financial counseling.

    The mission of Bridgeway Capital is to make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all by promoting economic opportunity and community revitalization. Bridgeway assists underserved populations by providing capital and education to ignite business and job growth, to develop communities, to support entrepreneurs, and to expand vital services that strengthen their region. Bridgeway serves the western Pennsylvania population from its headquarters in Pittsburgh and satellite offices in Erie and Uniontown.

    The mission of the Community First Fund is to create sustainable prosperity for low wealth communities and individuals, especially people of color and women, by aligning capital, knowledge, and advocacy to advance business ownership, housing, and community development. Community First serves the eastern Pennsylvania population with its headquarters in Lancaster and satellite offices in York, Harrisburg, Reading, Allentown, and Philadelphia.

    The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is a state agency under the Office of the Governor. Governed by a council of 15 citizen members appointed by the governor, and four legislative members, the mission of the PCA is to strengthen the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of Pennsylvania’s communities through the arts. By leveraging the immense potential of Pennsylvania’s arts and cultural sector, the PCA supports jobs, builds community, motivates learning, promotes the commonwealth nationally and internationally, and sparks innovation.


  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    Vaccine supply frustrating county officials, hospital, residents

    A stark statistic came out of Harrisburg last week. The state distributed 16,150 doses of coronavirus vaccine across the state from Feb. 14 through Saturday.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:54:00 -0500

    Supervisors commit $100,000 for Citizens' Ambulance

    Sewer ties with neighboring Indiana Borough and support of Citizens’ Ambulance Service were among issues for the White Township board of supervisors on Wednesday night.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:53:00 -0500

    Cash for pandemic-idled businesses coming

    Local economic development leaders put the call out Wednesday for financially stricken hospitality businesses to stake a claim for funds from a sizeable state grant awarded to Indiana County.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:49:00 -0500

    Drought disaster relief funding is available

    State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding has notified farmland owners in Indiana and 24 other Pennsylvania counties that they are eligible to receive disaster relief assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to losses caused by drought that occurred during…
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:40:00 -0500

    Supervisors tweak rules for executive session

    The White Township board of supervisors approved a resolution Wednesday night that will tweak the procedure for executive sessions for those who are listening in on teleconferences of the board’s twice-monthly meeting.
  • Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:54:00 -0500

    Marion Center board makes changes to curriculum

    Updating course books and the requirements of graduation for students at the Marion Center Area School District was a main point of conversation for the district’s school board at a meeting Monday night.
  • Wed, 24 Feb 2021 09:57:00 -0500

    Board approves media center project

    An area of Blairsville Middle-High School will be transformed into a media center under a plan approved Tuesday by the Blairsville-Saltsburg school board.
  • Wed, 24 Feb 2021 09:00:00 -0500

    League donates bench made of recycled plastic

    A polylumber bench has been installed at the offices of the Indiana County Conservation District, 435 Hamill Road in White Township.
  • Tue, 23 Feb 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    District sacrifices $110K in tax compromise with IRMC

    A compromise on taxation of Indiana Regional Medical Center properties will leave a gap of more than $100,000 in the Indiana Area School District budget beginning in July.
  • Tue, 23 Feb 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    All Marion Center students to return to classroom

    Starting Monday, all students in the Marion Center School District will be heading back to the classrooms in person four days a week.
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    TOP 100 PEOPLE 2021

    This has been a year like no other! Our annual Top 100 People edition highlights the vibrant economic and social life of central Pennsylvania by honoring the people who make it happen. When goods or services are delivered in an efficient and timely manner, expertise and knowledge brought to bear on a problem, or necessary care provided, it’s not just […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Second round of PPP Loans now available for Small Business

    Small businesses ravaged by the cor­onavirus pandemic can soon apply to receive a second forgivable loan under the newly refunded Paycheck Protec­tion Program. Congress appropriated $137 billion for “second-draw” loans as part of the larger funding and relief package. Signed into law on Dec. 27, the bill provides a total of $284.5 billion for PPP loans. Businesses that still need […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Biden signs sweeping Executive Orders targeting the Oil & Natural Gas Industry

    (AP) In the face of expected opposition, President Joe Biden has signed executive orders to attempt to transform the na­tion’s heavily fossil-fuel powered econo­my into a clean-burning one, pausing oil and gas leasing on federal land and target­ing subsidies for those industries. The directives aim to conserve 30 per­cent of the country’s lands and waters in the next 10 years, […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Filing your 2020 income tax return – The Impact of Covid and Stimulus Relief

    (AP) Americans have now received two rounds of stimulus checks, and there are a lot of questions about how these payments tie into your 2020 tax returns as filing season approaches. There’s a link between your tax returns and the stimulus checks: the two payments – the first providing $1,200 per eligible adult and $500 per eligible child and the […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Pennsylvania Laws taking effect in 2021

    Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Pennsylvania legislature has been func­tioning. Here is a selected list of the leg­islation taking effect in 2021 that may effect you and your business. House Bill 64: Allows professional li­censing boards and commissions within the Bureau of Professional and Occupa­tional Affairs to permit their licensees to carry over continuing education credits in […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Dr. Joel Myers Provides Generous Funding to Support Discovery Space

    AccuWeather founder hopes gift will inspire other leadership donations to beloved community institution Discovery Space is delighted to announce a generous donation from AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers to help address financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the gift will be utilized to create a world-class weather exhibit designed for preK through 6th […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Statewide broadband expansion effort awarded $600K grant

    Pennsylvania will see a coordinated statewide effort to expand highspeed internet access thanks to a $600,000 grant made possible by strong legislative support in the Pennsylvania state House and Senate. The grant bolsters SEDA-Council of Governments’ (SEDA-COG) broadband expansion project in the Snow Shoe Township area of Centre County. Mike Fisher, SEDA-COG assistant executive director, thanked state Senate President Pro […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Ben Franklin Awarded SBA Grant To Develop Women’s eBusiness Center

    The largest early stage investor in the region, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA, is pleased to announce it is one of the 20 recipients of an SBA grant intended to expand training resources that support women-owned small businesses across the country. The SBA’s Women’s Business Centers are a national network of 136 centers that offer one- […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    HVAB CARES Act grant gives boost to safety messaging

    A CARES Act grant awarded to The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau (HVAB) by Centre County Commissioners helped the county’s tourism promotion agency create a comprehensive marketing campaign emphasizing community safety and responsible travel. “Local economic recovery hinges on a rebound in visitation,” said HVAB President and CEO Fritz Smith, noting that Centre County has lost more than $131 million in […]
  • Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Joel Valentine

    President & CEO Wessel & Company Joel Valentine, CPA, CVA, CM&AA, CGMA, is the President and CEO at Wessel & Company. Joel’s service areas are centered on audit and tax, business valuations, and mergers & acquisitions. He services non- profit, government and the private sector industries. Joel began his professional career with Wessel & Company in 2003 and initially focused […]
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 23:19:27 +0000

    Diamonds Direct to open first regional location in the North Hills

    Jewelry retailer to open in North Hills.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 23:08:36 +0000

    Mitchell's Viewpoint: Connecting manufacturers with business talent

    Students should take another look at Pittsburgh and at the advanced manufacturing sector for meaningful career opportunities, while business leaders should consider new graduates from our local talent pool, says Petra Mitchel, president and CEO of Catalyst Connection.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 22:17:42 +0000

    Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh Steelers team up for multi-day Covid-19 vaccine clinic at Heinz Field

    Giant Eagle Inc. and the Pittsburgh Steelers have teamed up to offer a Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the PNC Champions Club at Heinz Field. According to a Giant Eagle press release, the clinic will take place between March 2 and March 5 with "a significant number" of appointments made available each day for eligible recipients. Currently, that's reserved for individuals in Pennsylvania's Phase 1A group. “We are excited to partner with the Steelers organization to make ongoing vaccination opportunities…
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 21:46:55 +0000

    Former KDKA-TV Chief Meteorologist Bob Kudzma dies at 81

    Former KDKA-TV Chief Meteorologist Bob Kudzma has passed away at the age of 81, according to KDKA. The longtime meteorologist, who first came to KDKA-TV in 1969 and retired in 2002 after 32 years at the station, died Thursday morning, KDKA said. KDKA said it would air a special tribute to Kudzma during its 6 p.m. broadcast on Feb. 25.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 20:39:15 +0000

    Education disrupted: For higher education, Covid-19 has disrupted pedagogy in profound way

    Leaders of local colleges and universities describe what they're doing during the pandemic to keep their institutions on track – and what they see in the future – for higher education.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 19:46:32 +0000

    Analysts: Why Highmark Health's NY expansion is a sign of strength

    The HealthNow affiliation shows the Pittsburgh-based insurer’s strength in the marketplace and ability to grow amid widespread consolidation.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 19:32:02 +0000

    Gecko Robotics to expand internationally, grow in government sector

    The company sees a lot of market opportunity both internationally and within the government.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 19:09:33 +0000

    New leader at Ogletree Deakins' Pittsburgh office

    Jenn Betts now co-managing shareholder at Ogletree Deakins, will have solo role at the helm this summer.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 18:42:18 +0000

    House bill would allow employees to refuse Covid tests, vaccine

    Testimony from officials from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania expressed serious concerns about the impact the bill.
  • Thu, 25 Feb 2021 18:17:31 +0000

    One of Pittsburgh's biggest law firms continuing diversity fellowship at Pitt

    K&L Gates LLP and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law are again partnering to offer the K&L Gates Diversity Fellowship, the law firm announced on Thursday. It provides a full-tuition scholarship to an entering student at Pitt Law for all three years of law school, as well as a paid summer associate position at K&L Gates in the student’s first summer of law school with an opportunity to return for a second summer. The K&L Gates Diversity Fellowship, which began in 2016, was the first…
  • © 2015 Indiana County Center for Economic Operations. All rights reserved. | Site created by Atlas Advertising © Powered by Community Systems
    Site Map