The Transformative Power of Impact-Driven Lending


We tailor our services to our clients’ unique stories and find ways to invest in their futures. Read how our investments in people help them revitalize and strengthen places.

Honoring the Past and Creating a Better Future

When Tyian Battle founded ACH Clear Pathways in 2010, it was in honor of her seven-year-old son, Amon C. Harris, who had recently passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition. Amon loved martial arts, but Tyian couldn’t afford to enroll him in classes, and it weighed on her after his death. Then, she said, “One day, God woke me up and said, ‘You’re going to do this for kids in the Hill District.’”

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$17.3 million in loans to 100 projects that advance opportunities in low-to-moderate income communities.

Reinvesting in Education — and a City’s Future

The former school that now houses the Erie Center for Art and Technology had been vacant for two years, except for a small health center in the basement. “It was rotting away in this big old building,” said ECAT Executive Director Daria Devlin. But there was a larger vision at work.

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$12 million in loans and grants to 48 real estate projects that revitalize communities.

Jerry’s Pizza, the Heart of the Hill District

Think of Jerry’s Market and Pizza Shop as Pittsburgh’s real-life version of one of the friendliest establishments on TV. “Walking into Jerry’s is like walking into Cheers,” said Shawn Thomas, Lending Team Leader for Bridgeway Capital. “Everybody knows everybody. You’ll see councilmen and judges. Everybody’s friendly, the food is flowing, and community leaders are talking about what’s going on in the community and how it’s changing for the better.”

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$12.4 million in loans to 98 small businesses to launch, expand, and build successful businesses that provide quality jobs.

Revitalizing a Town One Building at a Time

Michael Malcanas had a 10-year plan for his company Olde Towne Overhaul, which is buying and rehabilitating buildings to help revive downtown New Kensington. But now, just a couple of years into leasing those newly remodeled spaces to area businesses, Olde Towne Overhaul’s impact on the community is way ahead of schedule. “How many towns go from empty buildings to 20 new local retail residents?” he exclaimed.

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421,296 square feet of commercial real estate built or rehabilitated to develop vibrant communities. 

Farming for the Future

Marcus Houser came from a family of farmers, but he didn’t think it would be possible for him to continue the tradition in his hometown of Arnold, PA. “I always aspired to that, but it was distant,” he said. “Buying land isn’t openly accessible to my culture, and it’s very expensive. I knew traditional means were limited at best.” Marcus began researching alternative methods of farming. Then he found Freight Farms.

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$433,370 in loans and grants to 14 projects that increase access to healthy food for food-insecure populations.

A Family Business Brewing Up Community

David Sobel and his children developed a passion for home-brewing. As their homemade concoctions became popular with friends and family, David — who had spent 40 years working in insurance — saw the opportunity for a second career. The answer was Sobel’s Obscure Brewery. Seeking a unique building somewhere that wasn’t already saturated with craft beer makers, they turned their sights to Jeannette, a small community with a beautiful downtown once known for its glass factories. The Sobels soon found a 1920s department store, complete with tin ceilings, dramatic pillars, and loads of natural light. “We knew instantly that it was our home.”

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$1.7 million in loans to 7 businesses that will help expand industries and bring new jobs to rural and industrial towns.

Building a Foundation for Growth in Garfield

For the past six years, Garfield Jubilee has operated out of a rented building on Penn Avenue that had previously sat vacant for 10 years. The building required serious repairs, which the organization and its students undertook. So when buyers started eying the property, Monroe knew they needed to act. “We did all this work,” said Garfield Jubilee Executive Director Joann Monroe. “It made no sense for somebody to come and take it.”

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$6.4 million in loans and grants to 22 nonprofits to invest in facilities, expand, and sustain vital social services.

Read the next chapter of our 2021 Annual Report.

Business Assistance