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News Archives

Chorus to Kumbaya

Living in Colorado, teaching music during the week, and camping on weekends:  That was the rhythm of life for Charissa and Rian Chiaravalloti. After experiencing the effects of the pandemic in the city and especially within the music industry, they decided they wanted a change in tempo and looked to return to their Pennsylvania roots within the PA Wilds. That’s … Continue reading

Eat…Drink…and Be…Married?

The Barn at Madison is a one-of-a-kind wedding venue.  Built originally in 1799 as a dairy farm barn.  It has since been a home, a restaurant, and today serves as an elegantly unique event venue. When it went up for sale last year, the Dressman family knew they had to jump on the opportunity to purchase it. The Dressman’s proposed their … Continue reading

Did you hear the latest scoop?

We partnered with the North Central PA Regional Planning & Development Commission and the St. Marys EDC to provide a financing package to Father Ross Miceli and his team at Brandy Camp Crew Legendary Pennsylvania Creamery & Coffee to open the Pronto! Café in downtown St. Marys, where they sell their locally sourced LegenDAIRY homemade ice cream, coffee, juice, paninis, … Continue reading

90 Million is a lot of anything to imagine

This week, The Progress Fund counted up 90,000,000 in dollars.  That cosmic-sized number equals the total dollar amount of loans we made since we started lending in 1997.  Back then, we started the organization with a lot of imagination and just a few dollars.  Frankly, 90,000,000 was beyond our imagination, but we are proud to have reached. If 90,000,000 is … Continue reading

Things are heating up at Firewhistle Brewing

It’s Thirsty Thursday, and things are heating up at Firewhistle Brewing! When owner, Jason Berman, went in search of financing for startup costs to open his brewery and taproom, he came to the right place.  Firewhistle is 1 of 11 breweries funded by The Progress Fund. Firewhistle Brewing is a lively taproom serving both inhouse and made in PA beers, … Continue reading

Silver Shores are “golden”

What’s the old saying?  “The show must go on!”  Well, now it can at Silver Shores Restaurant. When the Schepner family bought the restaurant in 2017, their goals to host live music and events on the lakeside patio became a challenge, because every time the forecast called for bad weather, events would have to be cancelled. With our financing help, … Continue reading

Funding Trail Town Businesses

We often get asked “What was the single most important thing you did that made your Trail Town Program® successful?” The answer is always the same, that we have money and the willingness to make loans to new and expanding trail-related businesses.  And, we are as flexible as possible when we make those critical loans.  We adjust to less than … Continue reading

“The Nest” took over ten years to build.

“The  Nest” was over 10 years in the making.  “The Nest” is a cute, clean and comfortable one-bedroom apartment that just opened for rental at the Derailleur Bike Shop Café on the “Great” Butler-Freeport Community Trail, which runs for 20 miles across southeastern Butler County.  And yes, western PA has many “Great” destination trails in addition to the world-famous Great Allegheny … Continue reading

Water Rescue

The fear of crowded airplanes and mandatory quarantines deterred many people from hitting distant beaches.  Surprising numbers instead tested southwestern Pennsylvania’s many intersections of land, water and enterprise. Click here to learn about Hazelbaker’s Bottom Yough Outfitters, Silver Shores Restaurant and The Bear Paw Cabin revived their businesses along the local lakes and rivers during the Pandemic.