Start-Up Alleghenies Ecosystem will diversify and strengthen coal impacted economies in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, and Somerset Counties.
JOHNSTOWN, PA, OCT. 14, 2020 – Today, JARI Growth Fund was awarded $1,281,900 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to further enhance entrepreneurship in our region. The JARI Growth Fund (JGF) in partnership with Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI), Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC), the Alleghenies Angel Fund, and other private lenders will provide technical assistance to businesses and access to the newly launched Startup Alleghenies Microloan Fund, resulting in a strengthened entrepreneurial ecosystem in a seven-county, coal-impacted area of Pennsylvania.
“The JARI Growth Fund is grateful and excited to receive ARC POWER funding to support entrepreneurship. I want to thank the ARC for supporting this important component of our economic development program,” said Linda Thomson, President. “It is a pleasure to partner with ARC and the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission to grow our region.”
“This important funding from ARC will help us broaden the impact that we are having in the region by allowing us to help more entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. We have found that businesses started in our region normally stay in our region. Helping us all create more jobs and allowing us to retain people. So, thank you once again to ARC, JARI Growth Fund and our other partners for this opportunity,” said Steve Howsare, Executive Director, SAP&DC and Chair of the JARI Growth Fund Board.
Funding for today’s award was made via the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. Additional support for the Startup Alleghenies Microloan Fund is provided by Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission, local banks, Startup Alleghenies, and the local banks.
To date, ARC has invested over $238 million in 293 projects, touching 353 counties across Appalachia since 2015. More information about ARC’s POWER Initiative is available at www.arc.gov/power.
“I congratulate JARI Growth Fund for their POWER award and commend them on the leadership they have shown in their community,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they recover from COVID-19 by building and expanding critical infrastructure and creating new economic opportunities through innovative and transformative approaches. Projects like this are getting Appalachia back to work.”
ABOUT JARI GROWTH FUND
The JARI Growth Fund is a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) which was formed in May 2016. The Mission of JGF is to develop the skills and provide capital to individuals, businesses and organizations in the six-county Southern Alleghenies region to support the growth of a diverse economy and build vibrant communities, enhance the quality of life for residents of the region, improve housing, and otherwise address the needs of low to moderate income residents of disadvantaged, poor and minority communities within the region.
ABOUT THE APPALACHIAN REGIONAL COMMISSION (ARC)
The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.