A Greensburg-based community development financing agency has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to loan money to small businesses to boost tourism in Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia, western Maryland and Ohio.
The Progress Fund, which provides loans and technical assistance to business, received the maximum grant from the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. The money the funds received in the competitive grant process were part of a nationwide program that provided more than $194.5 million to 185 organizations.
“This is the sixth year in a row that The Progress Fund has received the maximum award from the federal government,” said David Kahley, president and co-founder of the financial institution.
The grant will be used to make loans to business in the coming year, said Karen Post, chief financial officer and co-founder of The Progress Fund.
So far this year, the agency said it has made 24 loans totaling more than $3.1 million, which has helped 23 small businesses create and retain 109 jobs. Since it was created in 1997, The Progress Fund has made 445 loans topping $53.7 million, helping 271 small businesses create or retain 3,279 jobs.
Among the loans that The Progress Fund made over the past two years were ones in Greensburg, Ligonier Township and West Newton. The Progress Fund purchased a closed tavern in downtown West Newton, spent money to renovate it and has leased it to a business that will operate a Subway restaurant franchise at the site overlooking the Youghiogheny River.
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