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Nonprofit boosts small ventures

Sandra Younkin wanted to buy a bed & breakfast inn in Confluence, a short jaunt from the bicycle trail along the Youghiogheny River in Somerset County and just outside the popular tourist destination of Ohiopyle State Park. But with credit tight last year and a sluggish economy that hurt business at the inn, Younkin said, she and her husband, Fred, sought an alternative source to buy the Confluence House where she worked as innkeeper and chef. “I did not even go the local banks. I went right to them,” Younkin said of The Progress Fund, a Greensburg-based community development lender that provides loans to small businesses in the tourism and agriculture industries. With help from The Progress Fund, she borrowed $175,000 from the Department of Agriculture’s relending program, which provided the bulk of the $189,000 needed to buy the property. She added a catering business and a wine-tasting room.

Click here to read more in the article: “Nonprofit boosts small ventures” in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.