Celebrating our Partners: Economic Development Districts
The PA Wilds region is served by four Economic Development Districts, or EDDs, also called Local Development Districts, or LDDs (alphabet soup, we know!): North Central PA Regional Planning and Development, Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, SEDA-COG, and Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission.
Among their many duties, these regional nonprofits spearhead key regional planning studies (regional greenway plans, transportation plans, and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies) that inform outdoor rec industry development in the PA Wilds. They also have great networks at the local, state and federal level, and do low-interest lending for business creation and expansion.
The EDDs are longtime partners in the PA Wilds effort, and helped to build capacity for our Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC) application on behalf of rural PA. “One of the reasons the Wilds work has been successful is that it works very hard not to duplicate services,” says SEDA-COG Executive Director Kim Wheeler. “The PA Wilds Center takes advantage of opportunities for collaboration with SEDA-COG and our sister Economic Development Districts, the Industrial resource Centers (IRCs), and the local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), among others. Our collective abilities to join forces and leverage resources across this 13-county region of the great Commonwealth of PA under BBBRC will enable the PA Wilds to recruit enterprises and investments, including people and talent, to an area of the country where sustainable asset-based development can be a best-in-class model.”
PA Wilds Region Local Development Districts
Local Development Districts: Fifty-two counties in Pennsylvania are served by Local Development Districts (LDDs), multi-county organizations providing services in such areas as community and economic development, transportation, international trade, strategic planning and much more. Counties share information through their LDD, respond to common concerns, and develop solutions to today’s critical issues. There are 4 LDDs serving counties in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission: The Northwest Commission is based in Oil City and offers a variety of loans to for-profit businesses with less than 100 employees where assets and job benefits are located in its footprint area. Loans can be used for land, buildings, machinery, equipment and working capital. Other eligibility, requirements and interest rates vary greatly.
Serves: Warren, Clarion and Forest Counties
Loan Program Manager: Rebecca Beach, 814-677-4800 x115 or email@example.com
North Central Regional Planning & Development Commission: North Central, located in Ridgway, has a suite of low-interest loan programs to support small business development that creates and retains jobs. Its loan programs are designed to leverage private financing and fill the gap when bank financing and equity are not able to completely finance a business project.
Serves: McKean, Potter, Cameron, Elk, Jefferson and Clearfield Counties
Loan Director: Jennifer Hibbard, 814-773-3162 x3049 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Tier Regional Planning & Development Commission: Northern Tier, based in Towanda, offers loans up to $100,000 for aid to for-profit businesses for startup expansion. Northern Tier also provides technical assistance to help identify new business growth opportunities.
Serves: Tioga County
Loan Program Manager: Stacey Urban, 570-265-1510 or email@example.com
SEDA – Council of Governments: SEDA-COG is based in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and offers a variety of low-interest loan programs to start-ups and existing businesses. They can package First Industries loans and other state loan programs and also have other pools of money to draw upon.
Serves: Lycoming, Clinton and Centre Counties
About the Series:
To celebrate June being Great Outdoors Month, we are highlighting partners throughout June who are helping grow the outdoor recreation economy here in the PA Wilds to help revitalize rural communities. Our 13-county region is the only outdoor rec industry cluster to make it to the final round of the national Build Back Better Regional Challenge competition, where we are now competing for $50M in federal investment from the US Economic Development Administration. We couldn’t have made it this far without our incredible partners!
Learn more about the PA Wilds and the BBBRC competition here.
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