The River's Edge Canoe & Kayak
Every time we ran into a roadblock, we called and they were willing to work with us.
Evelyn and Neill Andritz grew up near the banks of the Kiski River, and saw it transformed from a tainted waterway to the state’s River of the Year in 2000. A businesswoman and a chemist, respectively, they knew clean water could be a catalyst for growth. They set out to buy a landscaping store with seven riverfront acres, and add fishing supplies and canoe and kayak rentals to its offerings.
Banks were willing to finance the store’s purchase. But talks ran aground when the couple sought enough capital to buy boats and get the business afloat. They found The Progress Fund’s website, and with it a different philosophy of lending. “Every time we ran into a roadblock, we called and they were willing to work with us,” says Evelyn.
The Fund loaned $130,000, and helped with marketing and networking. From there, everything flowed. Restaurants are drooling over the hungry, thirsty boaters. Trail builders want to tie into the new riverfront amenity. The chance to canoe or kayak the Kiski is creating excitement for miles around. “The freedom it offers to explore the entire river,” says Neill, “makes it a unique opportunity to see nature.”View Story as PDF