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The Progress Fund

425 West Pittsburgh Street
Greensburg, PA 15601

Contact: David Kahley, President & CEO
Phone: (724) 216-9160
Fax: (724) 216-9167
URL: www.progressfund.org
Email: dkahley@progressfund.org
The Progress Fund

Founded in 1997, The Progress Fund provides loans and entrepreneurial coaching to small businesses in 39 counties of Pennsylvania, the state of West Virginia, Appalachian Ohio and Western Maryland. As industrial businesses have declined, The Progress Fund has identified tourism as a high-potential job creator in rural economies. It is the only CDFI and economic development organization focused specifically on building the tourism industry. To date, The Progress Fund has provided $28 million in cumulative financing, financed 275 businesses and assisted 2,047 jobs.

Program

In addition to the lending operations conducted at the Greensburg headquarters, the building houses two special economic development innovations of The Progress Fund, the Trail Town Program and the Produce Grown Here Program. Both initiatives reinforce The Progress Fund's lending efforts and leadership in PA tourism and agricultural industries.

Client Population

The Progress Fund works in 39 counties of Pennsylvania, the state of West Virginia, Appalachian Ohio and Western Maryland.

Impact

A joint-study by The Pennsylvania State University and Clemson University was completed in 2006 following an extensive 18-month effort made possible through the generous support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The purpose of the joint-study was to evaluate the job creation and wage-generation impacts of The Progress Fund's lending activities to small businesses of the tourism industry.

Story

The Progress Fund
Over 30 years, ACE Adventure Resort grew from two guys with four rafts into a leading presence on the New River Gorge National River. There success created a problem: "Every year we are forced to turn away guests interested in staying in our property due to limited lodging."
The solution was more and bigger luxury cabins. Ernie Kincaid, one of the resort's founders, had heard about The Progress Fund work strengthening West Virginia's tourism industry and he looked to them for funding. ACE borrowed $180,000 which helped to equip 3 new luxury cabins and pay for 22 new rafts and 6 ATVs. Full Story

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