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    $2.2 Million Loan Fund Supporting Creative Small Businesses

    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.

  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 09:54:00 -0400

    Trunk or Treat

    Kaiti Stavres held a bag for her son, Conor, 3, both of Indiana, during a Downtown Indiana Trick-or-Treat event on Saturday.
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 09:54:00 -0400

    Monopoly Challenge held

    Pat Farabough held up a “Go to Jail” card as he hosted the fifth annual Monopoly Challenge to benefit Family Promise of Indiana County.
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 09:45:00 -0400

    Salvation Army to host takeout Thanksgiving dinner

    The Salvation Army will host its annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, for drive-thru, pick-up and takeout only, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 26. This event is free for everyone.
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 09:44:00 -0400

    Community groups schedule public events

    A roundup of activities of local groups as submitted to The Indiana Gazette. Write to to have your organization's reports included in the periodic Club News column in the Gazette and on The Indiana Gazette Online.
  • Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:59:00 -0400

    Indiana Area to remain open despite recent virus cases

    Several Indiana Area School District students have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 infections, but district officials said classes would be held as planned at both the senior high school and at Ben Franklin Elementary, where the students had been attending…
  • Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:59:00 -0400

    Behind the White Door: See what awaits

    A business that started with no money down and one fancy purse has snowballed in seven months into a women’s clothing resale store owned by two friends — both military veterans — who share a love and knowledge of “thrifting.”
  • Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:59:00 -0400

    Workers report progress at site of 11th Street intersection

    Contractor Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.’s crews are in the home stretch of the work on Philadelphia and 11th streets in downtown Indiana.
  • Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:54:00 -0400

    Award-winning IUP chef talks cuisine during COVID

    Through the steam of a pot of hearty bisque and the smoke of a tender brisket, there is a man who has clear vision.
  • Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:49:00 -0400

    Two alumni gift $31,000 to IUP

    Two graduates of Indiana University of Pennsylvania have gifted $31,000 to IUP to help students studying in the IUP Eberly College of Business and Information Technology.
  • Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:49:00 -0400

    'God, Me and a Cup of Tea' :A breath of fresh air

    It took more than two months for me to get used to the CPAP machine. CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure,” and I need it every night to keep me breathing.
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Federal Judge Strikes Down Gov. Wolf’s Covid-19 Restrictions

    (AP)A federal judge struck down Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders restricting mass gatherings and shut­ting down business amid the Covid-19 pandemic as unconstitutional last week, as lockdown restrictions and business closures continue to be a major source of con­tention as the pandemic stretches on. U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, ruled that […]
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    New Targeted Email Progam Gains Traction

    Broad-based marketing can be costly, time-consuming and surprisingly ineffec­tive. Identifying your target audience and finding the most effective way to reach them are key factors in business success. In these challenging times, business owners need to spend their marketing dollars wise­ly. Finding the right online channel, whether it’s social media, direct mail or other plat­forms, to convey your message is […]
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Challenges for the Banking Sector in 2020

    The banking sector is undergoing a radical transformation. The shifts include changing business models, disruptive technologies, FinTechs, and compliance pressures. The emergence of non-bank startups, which is also referred to as FinTechs, is altering the competitive landscape in the banking industry. It has forced traditional institutions to reorgan­ize the way they conduct business. As information breaches become more frequent and […]
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Can I retire during the Pandemic?

    (AP)The coronavirus pandemic has likely attacked your finances on several fronts. Your retirement portfolio may be doesn’tworth less, you may have lost your job, and you may be turning to credit cards to keep the bills paid. Any one of those outcomes individually can affect your retirement plan for the worse — but all of them together can be disastrous. […]
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000


  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Four Trends that could shape the Stock Market in 2020

    (AP)At the beginning of the year, no one could have predicted what a wild ride 2020 would be for investors What was barely a news story in the begin­ning of the year erupted into a global catastro­phe as the coronavirus pandemic rocked investors around the world. Amazingly, the U.S. stock market isn’t much changed from where it started the year. […]
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Marketing Your Small Business During the Pandemic

    (AP)Over time and through trial and error, you’ve likely developed a system of marketing that works for your busi­ness. But, in many ways, 2020 has ushered in changes that can have an impact on the way businesses commu­nicate. This period of pandemic, social unrest, economic volatility and general uncertainty weighs heavily on the minds of many customers. Businesses may need […]
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    2019 a Banner Year for Pennsylvania Natural Gas Production

    A report released by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on September 14 found that 2019 was a banner year for natural gas production, with natural gas fracked from Pennsylvania wells than in any previous year. The report also noted that the number of new wells drilled declined. Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., behind […]
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Trump Revisits Beaver County Cracker Plant

    (AP)Workers at a petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania were given a choice ahead of President Trump’s visit to the site on August 11th : attend the president’s speech, stay home without pay or use up part of their paid time off. Many of the construction workers did not find it a difficult choice. Seeing Trump’s event at the ethane cracker […]
  • Fri, 25 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Governor Wolf Commits PA to Joining Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

    (AP) Governor Tom Wolf last week put Pennsylvania on a long and not en­tirely clear path to joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi- state partnership dedicated to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants over time. Under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), made up of 10 northeastern states, power plants buy allowances for the carbon dioxide (CO2) […]
  • Tue, 27 Oct 2020 00:06:53 +0000

    Walnut Grill inks deal to open new restaurant in vacated Max & Erma's in South Strabane

    Local restaurant chain taking advantage of opportunities to expand during Covid-19 pandemic, shooting to open new Washington County location soon after opening in Bethel Park this past summer.
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 22:11:00 +0000

    EQT CEO Toby Rice on a turning point in the region’s natural gas industry, and why gas’ benefits to Pa. can’t be overstated

    Rice, along with legendary shale developer Harold Hamm, talked to the Business Times about why the shale revolution shouldn’t be taken for granted.
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 21:36:18 +0000

    Pittsburgh's I&P director resigns to take post in South Bend, Indiana

    The City of Pittsburgh’s director of innovation and performance is departing after almost two years to become executive director of community investment in South Bend, Indiana. Santiago Garces’ resignation is effective Nov. 9. Heidi Norman will be acting director, the city said on Monday. It’s a return for Garces, who had previously served under former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg before coming to Pittsburgh. “Santi had one of the hardest jobs in the City of Pittsburgh and accomplished…
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 17:45:54 +0000

    Kraft Heinz's chief growth officer is leaving

    Kraft Heinz Co.’s chief growth officer is leaving the food giant jointly based in Pittsburgh and Chicago, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Nina Barton, who was tapped last year to accelerate organic growth and lead global e-commerce and digital businesses, is departing to pursue other career opportunities after almost a decade at Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC). One of the highest-ranked women at the company, she has agreed to continue working with Kraft Heinz…
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 17:44:01 +0000

    New Rise Pittsburgh expanding into residential real estate

    Firm that's represented such firms as Honeywell and Aurora Innovation in their office searches hopes to leverage corporate connections into new residential sales service
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 16:37:49 +0000

    Northwest 3Q profit rises

    Delinquencies drop but classified assets escalate.
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 16:35:20 +0000

    Covid-19 hospitalizations up in Pennsylvania

    Hospitalizations in Pennsylvania due to Covid-19 have increased as the number of total cases and the test positivity rate has jumped in recent weeks. There have been 1,104 people hospitalized in the state due to the novel coronavirus, up from 841 last Monday. While it's below the peak of 3,000 people hospitalized in the state during the previous peak of the pandemic in April, hospitalizations tend to lag case rates by several weeks due to the course of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Yet…
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 16:07:41 +0000

    HB Development LLC pulls out of $51M Fifth and Dinwiddie project in Uptown

    Bridging the Gap LLC will need to go forward with $51 million mixed-use project for the heart of Uptown without construction-focused partner.
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 15:03:35 +0000

    Epistemix simulations to help local governments make vaccine distribution decisions

    “We were able to calculate the number of individuals that need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity."
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2020 14:32:31 +0000

    Rivers Casino, CCAC team again to train part-time dealers

    Rivers Casino Pittsburgh on Monday said it is continuing its partnership with Community College of Allegheny County to provide training sessions for job seekers looking to be part-time dealers. Applicants who graduate from the program will receive a job offer from the casino. This year’s 6-week program begins on Nov. 12 at CCAC’s Allegheny Campus. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1. Space is limited to encourage social distancing. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered for…
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