NASAA Notes: November 2020

November 3, 2020

Pennsylvania: Creative Business Loan Fund

A professional dancer is recorded in a studio. Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

In an exciting new opportunity for small creative businesses across Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) has organized the Creative Business Loan Fund. This Creative Business Loan is the direct result of a unique public-private partnership between the state, Bridgeway Capital and Community First Fund. It makes $2.2 million available to support the important role that creative enterprises play in employment and economic growth.

These loans will provide an average of $75,000 to craft manufacturers; arts schools; architecture, design and fabrication firms; media companies; and visual and performing arts production agencies. With competitive rates and flexible financing, the loans can be used for growing the business through investing in working capital, equipment, building renovations and, in limited cases, building acquisitions. Successful applicants also will be supported with small business technical assistance. Focusing on small, for-profit creative enterprises, these loans will foster business development that can help communities in the commonwealth recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loans are divided between the two community development financial institutions (CDFIs), Bridgeway Capital and Community First Fund, with each CDFI responsible for 50% of the total $2.2 million. Bridgeway Capital, which focuses on underserved populations and promoting community revitalization, will be responsible for applicants from western Pennsylvania. Community First, which works with low-wealth communities and especially people of color and women, will cover the eastern part of the state. Continuing both CDFIs’ investment in underserved populations, this loan will prioritize funding for businesses owned by or serving Black, Indigenous and people of color alongside businesses that are in low-income, small or rural communities. For questions and more information, contact Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Director of Creative Communities Sarah Merritt.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

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