The Chester County Economic Development Council is releasing its top milestones for fiscal year 2020-2021, after the global pandemic stretched into a second year.
The CCEDC recently showcased the end-of-year milestones at its 11th Annual Stakeholders Breakfast held at the Desmond. More than 150 local business and community leaders attended, including partners, investors, and volunteers spanning every major county industry.
Highlights of CCEDC’s milestones for fiscal year 2020-2021 include:
- $78,891,964 in total funding for 76 economic development projects
- 29 in Chester County
- 47 more throughout the Commonwealth
- Record year in loan volume, with 61 SBA 504 loans totaling more than $56 million
- $11,758,000 in tax-exempt financing
- $10,250,000 in redevelopment grants
- $86,634,534 in COVID-19 assistance to area businesses
- $9,959,500 in Chester County Main Street grants
- $5,845,000 in COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) grants
- 4,573 participants in workforce development programs via CCEDC’s industry partnerships and STEM initiatives, 904 companies engaged in workforce programs
- 2,411 career exploration activities for young people
- Created Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force composed of 17 thought leaders from across the region
CCEDC’s newly formed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force began an exploratory process that included surveys and interviews with CCEDC staff, board, and minority- and women-owned businesses. With this foundation of research, examination, and heartfelt discussion, CCEDC is set to begin execution of the organization’s DEI plan in 2021-2022.
“This year and moving forward is devoted to building a strong, inclusive, and prosperous Chester County,” said CCEDC President and CEO Gary W. Smith. “As the global pandemic stretched into a second year with widespread health and economic impacts, there was a renewed focus and urgency in our nation’s ongoing dialogues on race, justice, and equality. All the while, CCEDC has strived to serve and to make a difference on these issues and many others, while advancing the economic health and prosperity of Chester County and the region.”
In addition, to the milestones listed above, CCEDC highlighted the following developments in its four core service areas in fiscal year 2020-2021:
- Financing Solutions: Seedcopa, CCEDC’s regional financing affiliate, was named No.1 SBA 504 Lender in Eastern Pennsylvania by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Seedcopa was able to support even more borrowers this year with an increase of 53 percent over last year’s loan volume.
- Workforce Development: During the 20th anniversary year of Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT), the one-day program was re-engineered during the pandemic to an eight-month virtual experience with hands-on activities for a global audience.
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship: CCEDC’s initiatives and programs supported 105 local startups, held 15 events including Entrepreneurs’ Roundtables and Open Pitch Coaching sessions, and invested $867,938 in KIZ funding.
- Location Services: CCEDC has worked with Cheyney University and Mosaic Development for three years on a public-private partnership that helps to identify opportunities for companies to locate to Cheyney’s campus and provide students with on-campus career exploration, training and internship opportunities. Today Cheyney University announced a new innovation space called thinkUbator. This co-action space in the redeveloped Duckrey building will provide laboratory space and infrastructure for emerging companies, researchers, academics and students.
A complete copy of the CCEDC’s 2020-2021 Annual Report is available at http://annual.ccedcpa.com.