HERMITAGE – The technology growth fund planned for Mercer County will receive a financial boost from the town of Hermitage.
In a unanimous vote Wednesday night at their monthly meeting, the Hermitage Board of Commissioners approved a $100,000 contribution to the city’s revolving loan fund technology fund.
The Mercer County Technology Growth Fund was first introduced to the Board of Commissioners in February by Rod Wilt, executive director of Penn-Northwest Development Corp.
The Technology Growth Fund is expected to provide financial assistance to Mercer County technology companies that may struggle to receive financial assistance elsewhere.
Penn-Northwest would work with Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a state Department of Community and Economic Development program, with loan applications and issuance. Ben Franklin will also match any funds awarded by the Technology Growth Fund.
While Ben Franklin would manage the funds and provide his expertise, Wilt said during his speech that companies backed by Ben Franklin were seven times more likely to succeed.
Wilt previously said he would like $500,000 to start the tech growth fund.
Hermitage’s Revolving Loan Fund provides funds to local businesses, enabling them to purchase goods or equipment that will improve both the businesses and the town as a whole.
While there are differences between the city’s revolving loan fund and the proposed technology growth fund, such as how the revolving loans are specifically for Hermitage businesses while the technology growth fund would be County-wide, Hinkson said the end goals of the two funds are the same.
“The ultimate goal is to spur economic development and help businesses that create jobs and wealth in the county,” Hinkson said.
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