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    $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.


  • Wed, 27 Jan 2021 09:50:00 -0500

    Board hires assistant principal, approves technology purchases

    The Blairsville-Saltsburg school board hired an assistant principal and authorized additional technology purchases, among other topics addressed at a virtual voting meeting Tuesday.
  • Wed, 27 Jan 2021 09:50:00 -0500

    County leaders scrutinize office deputy pay rates

    A chain of promotions triggered by the retirement of a longtime Indiana County Court House employee led Tuesday to an analysis of pay rates for second-in-command department workers by the county salary board.
  • Wed, 27 Jan 2021 09:45:00 -0500

    S&T Bank declares quarterly dividend

    The board of directors of S&T Bancorp Inc., the holding company for S&T Bank, declared a fourth-quarter per-share cash dividend of 28 cents at its regular meeting Monday.
  • Wed, 27 Jan 2021 05:32:00 -0500

    First Commonwealth reports financial results

    First Commonwealth Financial Corporation, the parent company of First Commonwealth Bank, on Tuesday announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2020.
  • Tue, 26 Jan 2021 10:00:00 -0500

    Cody's Law is back at square one

    Remember Cody’s Law?
  • Tue, 26 Jan 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    Prompt vaccines urged for teachers

    Pennsylvania’s plan for immunizing residents against the coronavirus looks to be a fairly simple four-level plan.
  • Tue, 26 Jan 2021 09:54:00 -0500

    MC approves in-person return for K-6

    Marion Center students from kindergarten through grade six will return to an in-person instructional delivery model beginning next Monday, the school board decided unanimously in a meeting on Monday night.
  • Tue, 26 Jan 2021 09:55:00 -0500

    Club donates special chair to Alice Paul House

    The Homer City Women’s Club participated in the Artful Chair online auction fundraiser last fall and made the winning bid on the chair painted by Carter Cavalier, of Homer City.
  • Mon, 25 Jan 2021 09:54:00 -0500

    United Way prepares for Souper Bowl fundraiser

    The United Way of Indiana County will offer the annual Souper Bowl fundraiser from a new location this year, the Hilton Garden Inn at IUP.
  • Mon, 25 Jan 2021 09:54:00 -0500

    Indiana County COVID-19 update

    Indiana County saw an increase of 24 cases of COVID-19 in figures released Saturday by the state health department, and 10 more Sunday, raising the total 4,662 total cases. One additional death was reported Saturday, raising that total to 145.
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    Keeping Hope Alive

    The coronavirus pandemic has im­pacted the lives and livelihoods of mil­lions across the nation and within the Commonwealth. Not only has the econ­omy been decimated with many individ­ual sectors and small businesses facing closure, but the corresponding revenue loss and the staggering cost of adapting to the pandemic has depleted the funds meant to help those most in need. The […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    PPP Loans: How Should You Prepare to Apply for Forgiveness?

    Many business owners applied and received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic to help them withstand the economic challenges they faced and protect the livelihoods of their workers. These Small Business Adminis­tration – backed loans have a covered peri­od of 24 weeks, which is ending for many businesses who are now able to […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    FROM THE EDITOR

    One year ago, looking ahead to 2020, no one could have foreseen what was coming at us – how dramatically and drastically our lives would be changed. We knew there was a contentious elec­tion coming, but who could have known that a virus would virtually shut-down the country, change the way our society functions and claim over 300,000 Amer­ican lives […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    Documentary takes viewers to the front lines of Geisinger’s COVID-19 response

    “Five Days in May — Inside the fight against COV­ID 19” captures emotional toll, ingenuity during pan­demic’s surge Facing down a mysterious, deadly disease, caregiv­ers across Geisinger’s hospitals have grappled with a harrowing inundation of patients battling COVID-19. A 30-minute documentary, “Five Days in May — Inside the fight against COVID-19,” offers a raw, emotional look at the challenges faced […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    Pivots, partnerships and perseverance helping Centre County navigate economic challenges, be positioned for recovery

    Centre County – Happy Valley, as it is affectionately known – has a reputa­tion for being a community that pulls together in times of need. While noth­ing could have fully prepared anyone for what 2020 would bring, the pan­demic naturally brought out the best in the community in many ways. It has also shined a bright light on our economy’s […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    Front Line Healthcare Workers Among the First to Receive Vaccine in Central PA

    (AP) Inoculations against the COVID-19 infection, which on Monday passed a grim milestone in the United States, began in earnest as health care workers and the elderly were the first to receive doses. Tens of thousands of doses had arrived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware already. The first inoculations in New Jersey and Delaware started taking place Tuesday morning […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    One Day After Revealing His Own Diagnosis, Gov. Wolf Imposes New Covid-19 Restrictions

    As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Gover­nor Tom Wolf and Secre­tary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today implored Pennsylvanians to take the next three weeks and stand united against the virus by adhering to ex­isting mitigation orders and stricter ef­forts announced today. “Today I am announcing additional, temporary COVID-19 protective mitiga­tion measures in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “With these […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    Indiana Pennsylvania: Christmas Tree Capital of the World!

    According to the Indiana County Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, the county traces its Christmas tree roots all the way back to 1918, when local farmers were the first in the U.S. to grow the trees as crops. In 1956, an estimated 700,000 were cut in the county. Around that time, an Associated Press Dispatch dubbed Indiana the “Christmas Tree Capital […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    Indiana County Center For Economic Operations and Ben Franklin Technology Partners announce BIG IDEA Winner!

    The Indiana County Center For Eco­nomic Operations (CEO) partnered with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA to present the Big Idea Contest. The search was for tech entrepreneurs, software developers, or small manufacturers who are bringing to market new products or software appli­cations. Ben Franklin awarded $50,000 for the winning application. More than 100 friends, family […]
  • Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:00:00 +0000

    Indiana County on the Move!

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  • Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:20:54 +0000

    Getting to net-zero: Natural gas producers take proactive approaches to lowering emissions

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    The week in bankruptcies: Somerset Hospitality Co.

    Pittsburgh-area bankruptcy courts recorded one business filing - including zero with total debt above $1 million - during the week that ended January 22, 2021. Year to date through January 22, 2021, the court recorded 3 Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 business bankruptcy filings, no change from the same span the prior year. Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection typically provides for the liquidation of a business’ assets to satisfy creditor claims, while Chapter 11 protection enables a business to restructure…
  • Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:02:01 +0000

    Bank of America's Pittsburgh market president leaving

    Brian Ludwick appointed to new post in Houston; BofA to appoint new leader here soon.
  • Thu, 28 Jan 2021 00:39:29 +0000

    Pittsburgh Public Schools delays return to in-person learning until April 6

    Students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools will not return to in-person classes until April 6 at the earliest. The school board approved the plan with a vote of 7-2 Wednesday night. The thought behind that is for teachers and bus drivers to be able to get vaccinated for Covid-19. For more, visit WPXI.
  • Thu, 28 Jan 2021 00:27:22 +0000

    Mews on Butler developer pursuing new Penn Heights townhouse redevelopment in Bloomfield

    Toronto developer launches marketing for new townhouse project near UPMC Children's Hospital
  • Wed, 27 Jan 2021 22:58:41 +0000

    County working on ways to streamline vaccine registration process

    Health Director Debra Bogen also acknowledged the rollout could be smoother and said the current process, which is so web-focused, puts at a disadvantage people who either don’t have access to the internet or who aren’t easily able to navigate the instructions.
  • Wed, 27 Jan 2021 20:01:37 +0000

    What the state's saying about more vaccine shipments in next few weeks

    There isn’t enough supply of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines to get to everyone in that first group, as untold numbers of Pennsylvanians have found out in the past week as they have wrestled with registration websites and vaccine providers, including hospitals and pharmacies.
  • Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:44:19 +0000

    Pennsylvania Senate passes $912 million pandemic aid bill, including funds for hospitality industry

    The measure allocates $145 million in grants to small businesses including taverns and restaurants throughout the state.
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    U.S. Steel names interim head of tubular solutions

    United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) has named Scott Dorn as interim head of tubular solutions, according to a news release.  Dorn takes on the role from Douglas Matthews, senior vice president of tubular solutions, who is scheduled to retire this month.  “Scott’s vast experience and deep understanding of the business position him well to lead U.S. Steel’s Tubular organization,” U.S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt said in a prepared statement. “We expect this to be a seamless…
  • Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:03:38 +0000

    Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford resigns

    Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford announced his resignation from the organization Wednesday afternoon due to personal reasons, the team said. Rutherford, who is 71-years-old, first joined the team during the 2014-2015 season and secured back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017. The team made the National Hockey League playoffs every year under his leadership and he was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019. “It has been a great honor to serve as general manager…
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