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Here you will find the most up-to-date resources for Small Businesses. Assistance for small businesses is available throughout the region.

Please check this page regularly.

Neighborhood Based Resources

These programs are specific to the Allentown, Knoxville, and Mt. Oliver Borough neighborhoods and are funded and coordinated by the URA, HEDC, and Hilltop Alliance

1 / Avenues of Hope ARPA Grant Program

The Avenues of Hope initiative is a place-based, people-first approach that seeks to intervene across all layers of successful, healthy, and sustainable main street development. The Avenues of Hope will be: Black-owned. Centers of arts, culture, and business. Mixed-use, transit oriented, and pedestrian friendly. Healthy communities supported by education, health care, senior care, recreation, and human supportive services. E Warrington Ave in Allentown and Brownsville Road in Knoxville are designated as part of the Avenues of Hope footprint.

More information

2 / Avenues of Hope Storefront Facade Grant Program

The URA Avenues of Hope Storefront Façade Grant Program provides funds to commercial building and business owners to improve their building facades. The Avenues of Hope (AoH) initiative is a place-based, people-first approach that promotes Black-owned centers of arts, culture, and business with mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly developments. 

This program is open to Allentown property and business owners, as Warrington Avenue is one of the Avenues of Hope.

 

The program provides up to $12,000 for façade improvements and requires applicants to show evidence of a 10% investment into the project. Funds can be used to improve the façade of the building. Further, 25% of the grant can be used towards interior improvements and 50% of funds can be utilized for ADA improvements. 

 

Click here to apply and for more information

3 / Marketing and Technical Assistance Grant Programs

About our Marketing and Technical Assistance partner:

First Sip Studios is excited to offer video/photography services and advising over a 5-month period to help small businesses share their story and expand their customer base. Through this program, the total cost for the business owner to enroll and receive these services is $500.

For more information about First Sip Studios services, click here

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Allentown

 

The Hilltop Alliance may provide up to 90%, up to $2,500, of the total cost for small business marketing support including branding, graphic design, website development, social media and more. After completing the application below, Hilltop Alliance staff will connect you with an appropriate marketing vendor, Trailblaze Creative or First Sip Studios, for a consultation meeting to confirm requested services and pricing in order to move forward with this grant.

Funding for this grant is limited, so it is recommended that the applicant verify the availability of funds with the Hilltop Alliance, prior to completing this application. 

Allentown Marketing and Technical Assistance Application

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Mt. Oliver and/or Knoxville

Mt. Oliver Borough,in partnership with the Hilltop Economic Development Corporation (HEDC), is offering marketing and communications support services to its businesses to help with this transition. Businesses needing support with branding, marketing, graphic design, web development, social media, and more, can apply for no-cost technical assistance through Mt. Oliver Borough.

To qualify for Mt. Oliver’s Marketing Technical Assistance Program (MTAP), you must be a licensed business by Mt Oliver or Knoxville, a storefront business along Brownsville Road from border to border, or provide evidence that the business contributes to the economic development or foot traffic in Mt Oliver / Knoxville. Priority will be given to brick and mortar businesses in Mt Oliver and Knoxville. After completing an application, the Borough staff will work to prioritize needs with marketing vendors, TrailBlaze Creative and First Sip Studios, to work with local businesses.

Applications for this program are accepted on a rolling basis.

Mt Oliver and Knoxville Marketing and Technical Assistance Application

4 / Signage Grants

Allentown

The Hilltop Alliance may provide up to 95%, up to $2500, of the total cost (materials, fabrication, installation, labor, etc.) for new exterior signage that is mounted to the business storefront. Signage design and quote/invoice must be submitted with this application. Funding for this grant is not always available, so it is recommended that the applicant verify the availability of funds with the Hilltop Alliance, prior to completing this application.

Allentown Signage Application

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Mt Oliver and/or Knoxville

Hilltop Economic Development Corporation and Hilltop Alliance may provide up to 90%, up to $2,500, of the total cost (materials, fabrication, installation, labor, etc.) for new exterior signage and/or lighting fixtures that are mounted to the business storefront. Signage and fixture design and quote/invoice must be submitted with this application.

Mt. Oliver and Knoxville Signage Application

5 / Rent Abatement Programs

Mt. Oliver Borough

Starting a new businesses can be risky. To help minimize that risk, the Hilltop Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) has implemented a Rent Abatement Program that could subsidize a portion of monthly rent for qualified businesses – just another incentive for starting or moving your business to Mt. Oliver Borough.

Rent Abatement Program Application

City Resources

These are city wide resources and programs

Starting a business can be a challenge, but don’t let that stop you from going after your goals. The Neighborhood Community Development Fund (formerly known as the “Northside Community Development Fund”) helps Allegheny County’s entrepreneurs and housing projects acquire the loans – and sometimes the leadership and support – needed to give a great idea or plan momentum. Let our team be your partner (better yet, the people in your corner) to help position your business for success. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking for a new space, need financial support to take your business to the next level, or just aren’t quite sure where to start with your strategy – we have your back.

More Information: www.ncd-fund.org
Download Flyer   

2 / Get Online Grow Online

With this program, small businesses can apply to receive up to 10 hours of free technical assistance that will help their business enter the digital marketplace and receive personalized ecommerce solutions.

Deadline: This is a rolling program, so their is no deadline.

Who Can Apply: An existing business with less than 15 employees that is located in the City of Pittsburgh.

More Information: https://www.ura.org/pages/get-online-and-grow-online-program

3 / Childcare Reinvestment Business Fund (CRiB)

The Childcare Reinvestment Business Fund, run by Invest PGH, is a pilot program designed to sustain and stimulate the growth of child care businesses in the City of Pittsburgh. The forgivable loan provides below market-rate financing to child care businesses based on determination of need. Loans are subject to funding availability.

Amount: $5,000 – $20,000 or 90% of total project costs

  • Funds can be used for working capital including payroll, supplemental income for teachers, subsidies for enrollment, STAR application fees, supplies and equipment, or leasehold improvements.

  • Borrowers who complete sponsored business education courses through Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship are eligible for an additional $5,000.

  • Within three years, borrowers can request to have the loan 100% forgiven.

  • Preference will be given to minority-led businesses and non-profits, entities that enroll a significant percentage of children receiving subsidies, and applicants that demonstrate financial need.

Deadline: Rolling

More Information: https://investpgh.org/?page_id=1013

4 / Shared Services Pilot

Invest PGH is partnering with Trying Together to develop a pilot shared services program. This will allow participating centers to access resources and expertise. The purpose of this program is to strengthen child care businesses while reducing administrative burdens.

5 / Micro Enterprise Loan Program

Financing for startup and small businesses that need capital to launch or grow a business. This program provides loans of up to $30,000 for working capital, equipment, inventory, and leasehold improvements.

Amount: $5,000 – $30,000

  • Interest rate: 3%

  • Length of loan: 5 – 15 years, depending on use of funds

More Information: https://investpgh.org/?page_id=278 , lmorris@ura.org

6 / SCORE Pittsburgh

SCORE Pittsburgh is a nonprofit that provides free and confidential one-on-one business counseling by phone, email, and in-person in Southwestern Pittsburgh. They also conduct workshops for both start-up entrepreneurs and seasoned small business owners.

More Information: https://pittsburgh.score.org/

Regional Resources

These are regional resources within the state and funded by state-wide organizations

Attend workshops, receive consulting, and more to help ensure the success of your small business.

Chatham Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship: https://www.chatham.edu/cwe/counseling/

Pitt Small Business Development Center: https://entrepreneur.pitt.edu/centers/small-business-development-center-sbdc/

2 / HoneyComb Credit

Honeycomb allows your community to invest in your business in a new way - loan crowdfunding. Your customers and fans chip in as little as $100, you raise the money you need to grow your business, and you pay them back with interest.

 

More information: https://www.honeycombcredit.com/grow

3 / Kiva

Kiva uses crowdfunded microloans as a force for good, creating a space where people can have one-to-one impact, and together, expand financial access for all. More information: https://www.kiva.org/borrow

4 / New Sun Rising

Fiscal sponsorship provides access to restricted funding, grants, tax-deductible donations, and other valuable project management benefits. For small, early stage, or innovative nonprofits with limited capacity, fiscal sponsorship allows leaders to focus on project design and implementation while we take care of compliance. The ability to test new projects in a supportive, trusting relationship is an important aspect of any social innovation ecosystem. New Sun Rising seeks to reduce friction between the work required to manage your funds and implement your idea.

 

More information & application: https://www.newsunrising.org/our-programs/accessible-funding/fiscal-sponsorship/

5 / Hebrew Free Loan Association

Interest-free loans are available on a nonsectarian basis to residents of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Butler, Beaver and Armstrong Counties who may not qualify for assistance through other institutions.

More information: http://hflapgh.org/

6 / Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA)

 3RBA is the LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce for the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny Region, advancing diversity, inclusion and growth. They have programs, events and grants.

 

More information: https://www.3rba.com/

7 / Entrepreneurs Forever

The mission of Entrepreneurs Forever is to equalize economic opportunity by connecting often-overlooked small business owners with the peers, skills and support they need to succeed. Find out more about their events & peer group program. More information here: https://www.entrepreneursforever.org/

 

If you have a specific situation and need help, but do not see any above that could help, please contact meg@pghhilltopalliance.org

If you have a specific situation and need help, but do not see any above that could help, please contact our services manager Jeph Martin

Email: jeph@pghhilltopalliance.org Phone: 412-586-5807 ext. 3

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