Landmarks Community Capital Corporation and its Partners Announce a New Business Initiative, The Metropolitan Loan Fund of Pittsburgh
The Metropolitan Loan Fund of Pittsburgh (MLFP) is a new loan fund with an emphasis to increase minority entrepreneurship. It is a public/private partnership collaborative designed to provide flexible financing and technical assistance to new and existing businesses which are located in or serve the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The partners include Landmarks Community Capital Corporation (LCCC), State Senator Wayne D. Fontana (through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development), Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, the City of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, Neighborhood Business Inc., and Bridgeway Capital including support from the Heinz Endowments. At present, The MLFP has $1.75 million in committed funds to spur more business opportunities in the Pittsburgh region.
Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of LCCC will announce the start of The MLFP at Dorsey’s Record Shop, a third generation minority-owned business in Homewood on Friday, February 13th at 10:00 a.m. He said, “According to the 2002 Census Bureau’s economic data, Pittsburgh had the 6th smallest number of black-owned firms among the top 40 metropolitan regions in the country. The number of black-owned firms in the region did increase by 39% between 1997 and 2002.
The MLFP is designed to help increase the number of minority firms in the region, coupled with strong technical assistance, which will help these firms navigate the vicissitudes of entrepreneurship. The MLFP will also place a significant amount of emphasis on women-owned businesses, which are growing faster by nearly 57% than those businesses owned by men or non-minority women. Women of color are establishing businesses at twice the rate of their male counterparts and more than four times that of non-minority entrepreneurs according to a new study released by the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency.”
State Senator Wayne D. Fontana said, “I am proud to support The Metropolitan Loan Fund of Pittsburgh and was eager to partner with Landmarks Community Capital Corporation, community organizations, the County and the City to provide a boost to minority businesses in our region. This program is evidence of what we can do working together – and the projects that can be undertaken because of the economic development funds made possible through the gaming industry. The program will provide financing and technical assistance to new and existing minority businesses, pieces that are particularly key in this economic climate.”
Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato said, “The MLFP will benefit our region on two levels – by increasing the number of minority-owned businesses and by encouraging additional economic development,” said Onorato. “Through our MWDBE Working Capital Loan Program, Allegheny County has been promoting minority businesses with the approval of two dozen loans totaling $1.3 million. The MLFP will take these efforts to the next level.”
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said, “Pittsburgh’s growth is predicted on the growth of entrepreneurship. Businesses bring jobs, jobs bring income stability and stability equates to vibrant urban communities. Today, minority women represent the fastest growth sector of business and the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s lending participation of $250,000 in The Metropolitan Loan Fund of Pittsburgh in addition to the other great partners is indicative of the City’s commitment to growing minority business. I am again pleased that Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., CEO of Landmarks Community Capital Corporation is at the forefront of the creation and implementation of new and exciting initiatives, which continue to benefit Pittsburgh and the region.”
Speakers at the press conference include:
- Rev. Ricky Burgess, City Councilman, District 9
- Wayne D. Fontana, State Senator
- Joseph Preston, Jr., State Representative
- Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
- Mark Peterson, President, Bridgeway Capital
- Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., CEO, Landmarks Community Capital Corporation