Norfolk Southern Contributes $50,000 to First Frontier Blair County Micro-Loan Program

by | Jun 17, 2020 | News

(June 17, 2020 – Altoona, PA) In December of 2019, the Altoona Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation, in partnership with the Blair County Commissioners, created the First Frontier Blair County Micro-Loan Program. The initial fund balance of $85,000 was established to provide small businesses with working capital loans of up to $20,000. Now, during this time of economic recovery, ABCD is pleased to announce that the Norfolk Southern Foundation is contributing $50,000 to the fund.

“We recognize these are difficult times for small businesses and their employees,” said Rudy Husband, Resident VP for Norfolk Southern. “These funds will be administered quickly and effectively by ABCD’s finance team to get the money into the hands of those business owners that need it most. We all need to get back to full operations as quickly as possible.”

The small business funding will target local entrepreneurs of all types to include coffee shops, breweries, flower shops, dress boutiques, housing developers, specialty soap makers, performers, artists, web developers, medical, culinary artisans and countless more.

“This green phase for reopening is good, but far from ideal,” said Stephen McKnight, President and CEO of ABCD Corporation. “Many businesses are trying to navigate the restrictions associated with the Governor’s declared State of Emergency. Attempting to operate at 50 percent capacity but at greater costs will not add up in the long run. Various loan and grant dollars will be needed to fill that gap until we can return to normal operations,” McKnight added. “We appreciate NS for recognizing this challenge and contributing to this fund.”

Most recently the fund helped to support Altoona-based businesses Deininger & Rupe Dental Laboratory and Making Waves Hair Salon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic both were forced to close during the mandated shutdown. ABCD financing staff worked with the dental operation to provide a working capital loan which assisted in re-opening.  The fund will help Making Waves expand into an additional area in their building and complete minor renovations.

For more information on the First Frontier Blair County Micro-Loan Program contact Tom Seasoltz or Rich Lasek today. For information on the First Frontier Fund and all of the current recovery loan and grant programs available visit

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