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ECGRA Reports on Partnership with Bridgeway Capital, Investment is Helping Dozens of Small Businesses

Posted on June 21st, 2021 at 11:11 AM
ECGRA Reports on Partnership with Bridgeway Capital, Investment is Helping Dozens of Small Businesses

The  Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA) issued a report today updating Erie County residents on a valuable partnership with Bridgeway Capital, helping dozens of local small businesses create and retain jobs.

Since 2016, ECGRA has partnered with Bridgeway Capital to help develop Erie's entrepreneurial ecosystem by investing in the Ignite Erie and Erie Urban Entrepreneurship Program and the Erie Minority-Owned Business Accelerator (EMOBA).  Through this investment, Bridgeway Capital extends access to capital to under-resourced, underestimated small and minority-owned businesses.

"ECGRA's mission is to elevate Erie County by empowering nonprofits and small businesses toward economic and community development," said Dr. Perry Wood, Executive Director, ECGRA.  "A partnership with Bridgeway Capital has proved financially viable, and it has been a great return on investment to Erie County and small business by investing in their futures."

The report outlines the benefits of the partnership from its inception through 2020, when ECGRA's partnership with Bridgeway helped to launch a COVID-19 response fund at the onset of the pandemic.  The Erie County COVID-19 Response Fund helped small businesses, nonprofits and immediate humanitarian relief efforts.  As partner to the fund, Bridgeway deployed $633,200 to 25 small businesses and 2 nonprofits in Erie County, saving 103 full time jobs and 53 part time jobs.

The Urban Entrepreneurship Program and the Erie Minority-Owned Business Accelerator (EMOBA) were launched as part of the Inclusive Erie Fund financed by ECGRA and managed by Bridgeway.  The fund will invest at least $5 million in new loans in Erie County by 2022 with a committment to invest half or $2.5 million in minority-owned businesses.  More than 86% of monies lent to date have been directed towards historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs including those helped through the Accelerator.

Through the help of ECGRA's initial investment of $1 million, Bridgeway has leveraged more than $8 million in loans to 32 small businesses - a 700% return on investment.  It has helped to fund companies with a wide range of products such as Hoffman United, a construction and property management company remediating blight, and LL Kurtz, an advanced manufacturer that designs and tests engineered rubber parts.

To access the complete report on the partnership between ECGRA and Bridgeway Capital, please click here.