ABCD Corporation Launches First Frontier Micro-Loan Program

 In News

Altoona Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD) officials joined with Blair County Commissioners today to announce the formation of the First Frontier Blair County Micro-Loan Program. The initial $85,000 investment was made possible by the transfer of a legacy Micro-Enterprise Fund housed at the County and administered by ABCD.

Since 1997 the original micro-enterprise fund helped six local businesses expand, retaining more than 100 jobs. Now that the original fund has been repaid and the program closed-out, the Commissioners approved the transfer to ABCD to be used specifically for small business start-ups; a core service offered by the economic development corporation.

“Economic developers can plan and push a vision to ensure there are relevant resources in place to help entrepreneurs along,” said Stephen McKnight, ABCD President and CEO. “But in the end, only the founders, investors, and risk takers can make a business happen,” he added. “This micro-loan fund can be the first key ingredient.”

Blair County has a strong tradition of home-grown family businesses. Together they employ nearly 10,000 people within the County. Many newer start-ups have taken root along Blair County’s mountain main streets in recent years. They identify as makers, doers, owners, and change-agents. They take the shape of coffee shops, breweries, flower shops, dress boutiques, housing developers, specialty soap makers, performers, artists, web developers, and culinary artisans.

“On behalf of the Blair County Commissioners, we are pleased to approve this transfer which will allow for the funds to continue to be used for what they were intended, small businesses that make up the foundation of our regional economy,” said Bruce Erb, President of the Board of Commissioners.

Loans will be made generally in amounts less than $20,000 to help with start-up operational costs, building renovations, legal and financial services commonly needed by entrepreneurial start-ups.

For more information on the First Frontier Micro-Loan Program, contact Tom Seasoltz at toms@abcdcorp.org or Rich Lasek at richl@abcdcorp.org. For more information about the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation visit www.abcdcorp.org – or call 814-944-6113.

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