A traditional bank is tricky. They’re not looking at the potential, and that’s what The Progress Fund is looking at…The Progress Fund understands what we’re doing.
As the Laurel Highlands has grown as a multi-million-visitor destination, Pam and Jessica Kruse have grown with it. Restauranteurs, shopkeepers, candy makers and vacation rental owners, they’ve cross-marketed each business to the other’s customers. They also hold the gates wide open to anyone interested in joining the fun. From architecture fans in search of great wine lists to cyclists hankering for healthful pizza, the region’s varied visitors bring opportunities as vibrant as the wooded mountains. “If you have an eye for being an entrepreneur,” says Pam, “it’s really a great area”.
When the couple learned an already-successful vacation rental on the edge of Forbes State Forest was for sale, they pounced. Once again, they turned immediately to The Progress Fund to grow their business.
Rechristened Hemlock Lodge, the wooden house and its furniture bear vivid witness to the forests from which they’re cut. By adding a gazebo and a few old-school arcade games, the Kruses are turning a house that sleeps nine into the perfect base for a family getaway or reunion. And by continuing to build businesses, the Kruses are carving out places for others. “There is so much opportunity,” says Pam, “for anybody who wants to start a business, from cleaning ladies to landscaping to plumbers to guys that just want to build fire pits.”View Story as PDF