Pittsburgh is experiencing a building boom as new structures rapidly emerge across the city. The development trend shows few signs of ending soon. So how do we as a community equally spread the benefits of the boom? Development growth increases opportunity for many small businesses. Bridgeway deploys capital and technical assistance to make sure more businesses benefit from the citywide surge in construction activity.
In 2015 and 2016, Bridgeway provided financing to Big Lulu’s Trucking. The business specializes in delivering materials to construction sites and removing waste like broken concrete and demolition debris. Business owner Celeste Scott started Big Lulu’s Trucking and needed working capital. She hired an additional driver from her community so she could focus on logistics. That driver, John Williams, became the Operations Manager as Big Lulu’s Trucking took on new opportunities across Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties.
“It takes capable and capitalized entrepreneurs to revitalize a neighborhood. Every person they hire, every storefront they fill, every dollar they earn makes it happen.”
– Shawn Thomas, Entrepreneur Lending Director at Bridgeway
Real estate development brings prosperity to the region, but many minority- and women-owned small businesses face obstacles. Bridgeway understands that access to capital for smaller contractors is vital. It allows employees to be hired, keeps payrolls steady, and allows for project supplies to be purchased. Yet it remains a scarce resource for minority- and women-owned small businesses. For example, Bridgeway provided working capital to Wilco Construction to hire and prepare for interior renovations at 7800 Susquehanna Street. The capital enabled business owner Darrell Williams to assemble a crew and get the materials needed to complete Wilco Construction’s part of the project.
Impact Before and After
Community-minded development projects transform areas in need of investment and infrastructure, but there are many opportunities for impact before the grand openings. Bridgeway wants Pittsburgh’s construction boom to impact more small businesses, especially those historically excluded from the development process. Since 2015, Bridgeway invested over $2.5 million in small businesses trying to access the building boom. As the city’s skyline changes and its neighborhoods evolve, Bridgeway helps more businesses like Big Lulu’s Truck and Wilco Construction become part of the progress.
Big Lulu’s Trucking
7347 Idlewild Street | Pittsburgh, PA 15208 | 412.520.2077 | biglulustrucking.com