Together, we can build an economy that works

Picture a group of 10 Lancaster entrepreneurs starting or growing their businesses. They are a more diverse group than you often see in Lancaster—4 are African American, 3 are white, 2 are Latino and 1 is African. They all have one thing in common: They are entrepreneurs with a dream of improving their lives by starting a business of their own.

You know how risky starting a business can be. Imagine, then, the risk involved in not only being responsible for a loan of your own, but also guaranteeing the loans of 9 other individuals. But that’s what they did. Through ASSETS’ Lending Circle program, entrepreneurs support each other for a full year of business growth. They commit to each other’s success. They improve their credit and access traditional capital. They formalize their businesses and increase their income. They increase the diversity of Lancaster’s economy. And they do it together.

This is the power of ASSETS, which you help to make possible with your financial support.

With your help, ASSETS supports businesses and helps to create thriving wage jobs. Through your generous support, ASSETS helps local businesses be a driving force for good. And it is not just the Lending Circles that are working.

We are:

  • Training social enterprises through the Great Social Enterprise Pitch to hire refugees and people with barriers to employment.
  • Helping women start and grow businesses through the ASSETS Women’s Business Center to achieve parity in business-ownership.
  • Working with existing for-profit companies to Measure What Matters – to consider their social and environmental impact in the community in new ways—through restructuring businesses to offer employee ownership, diversifying leadership and management structures, adding more local women-owned or people-of-color owned businesses to their supply chains, and becoming certified B Corps.

The BBC has called Lancaster “America’s Refugee Capital.” If we can resettle 20x more refugees than any other place in the country, we believe that we can build an economy with the highest rates of women- and people-of-color-owned businesses and the most B Corps per capita. Will you help us work toward this vision?

Together, we can build an economy that works.

Your donation will help us meet our $40,000 fiscal year-end goal and continue to build an economy that works for all. You can give on-line today!

Sweet Jobs Give Immigrants New Opportunities

ASSETS client and participant in the 2015 Great Social Enterprise Pitch, The Stroopie Co., is making news!


The Stroopie Co. in Pennsylvania Employs Refugees to Make Unique Cookies

If you’ve ever heard of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, you’re probably aware that it’s home to one of the biggest populations of Anabaptist religious sects, such as the Amish and Mennonites, in the United States. You may not know that it sits near the heart of Pennsylvania’s enormous sweets industry, just next door to the candy-making mecca of Hershey; and that the county accepts hundreds of refugee immigrants every year.

The Stroopie Co., a small Lancaster company that manufactures Dutch-style cookies, has a mission to hire and train refugee women as its workforce. The company’s hiring practices reflect its community’s history and spirit.

“We were looking for a really practical way to love our neighbor well,” says Jennie Groff, who co-owns “Stroopie” with her husband, Jonathan. She worships in an Anabaptist church that focuses on supporting refugees. “The company fits my roots,” she says.

Stroopie’s was started in 2008 by Ed McManness and Dan Perryman, who remain part-owners. The goal was always to provide “meaningful employment” to local refugees; McManness’s family had enjoyed Dutch “stroopwafels” — a cinnamon cookie made in a waffle iron with a layer of caramel inside. The circular cookies rest perfectly on the lip of a mug of steaming hot tea or coffee, which softens the caramel filling. The Stroopie Co. makes one version half-dipped in chocolate.

“They’re hard to find in the States. It gave us something we could market,” Jennie Groff says. “We knew if we were going to establish a social enterprise, we needed to provide a great product.”

The Groffs joined the enterprise in 2010, bringing with them Jonathan Groff’s lifetime of experience in his family’s candy-making business.

Today, Stroopie’s employs six refugee women — three from Myanmar and three from Syria. Another employee manages the staff and acts as an ESL teacher. Employees typically stay a year or two before moving on, Groff says.

“The refugee women we’re hiring, they’re super-motivated, thankful, great workers. Just a huge, huge asset to our company. I just can’t imagine taking our family and having to start over in a new place. We view it as a deepest privilege to provide a job with dignity.”

Mary Myint, an “expert Stroopmaker,” offers her testimonial on the Stroopies website: “I like my job because my schedule is nice for my children. When we lived in Myanmar and Malaysia, we were scared of the police. In the USA all the people are equal, so my family loves the USA.”

Workers start out making $11 an hour, Groff says, then move up to $12 an hour after training. The owners want to eventually pay a wage of $15 an hour, and perhaps even start giving the women part ownership of the company.

Getting to that point, however, requires that Stroopie’s take a big next step.

Filling Out the Mission

“We need to make a profit in a more sustainable way before we can consider granting ownership shares,” Groff says. “We are holding our own, we’ve been breaking even. … For a small company, that’s something to celebrate.”

In 2015 Stroopie’s won “The Great Social Enterprise Pitch,” a local competition meant to encourage businesses that “perform a social good while also making a profit.” The prize: In-kind products and services worth more than $25,000, meant to help the company grow. Stroopie’s used its winnings — along with money raised from Indiegogo as part of the competition — to open a retail storefront in Lancaster, where the cookies are made and sold directly to the public.

“The biggest thing — it gave us a platform to tell our story,” Groff says of the competition. “The community really rallied behind us.”

The company also distributes its product in nearly 70 stores across the United States and is pitching bigger retailers.

“We feel like we’re poised and ready to grow,” Groff says. “We’re still relatively small, but every year we gain momentum and get our story out there.”

Groff says she is confident the company will continue to grow, increasing profits and employing more refugees.

“Both have to be equally strong — you have to have passion for both things — or it’s not going to be sustainable, it’s not going to work,” Groff says.

Small Change. Big Difference.

ASSETS is the #GiveLocal recipient of March and April 2017!


Launched in 2017, Lemon Street Market’s #GiveLocal project is a register round up initiative designed to support Lancaster organizations whose missions align with ours.

Customers can elect to “round up” their purchases to the nearest dollar when they check out, with proceeds donated to the featured organization for that month. Customers can also choose to increase their at-the-register donation by adding to their round up value. By shopping at Lemon Street Market, customers are directly supporting more than 75 local farmers and vendors, and even more through local distributors like Lancaster Farm Fresh, Oasis, and Four Seasons. For each dollar spent at a local, family-owned business, 80% is put back into the local economy. For every dollar spent at large, corporate owned stores, only 20% makes it back into the local economy.

Help us to contribute even more to our community by choosing to #GiveLocal when you check out at Lemon Street Market.

Harvest Moon Bagel Co.: Philly-Style Bagels brought to Lancaster

Chelsea Zawisa has always worked in the food industry. “At times I wondered if I should get a job outside of the food industry, but saw no reason to, I love food.”

In High School, Chelsea worked in various restaurants and bakeries, building a passion for her own cooking. In 2011, she went to YTI for their pastry arts program and began to master baking. Once finished, she worked at bakeries and cafes, including Commonwealth on Queen. During this time, she began to think about owning her own business. “I feel like everyone in the restaurant industry wants to own their own business.” After planning and some research, Happy Belly Bakery was created in 2014.

However, the bakery was only a part-time business and Chelsea would only sell baked goods at the Lancaster East Side Market. An idea began to form inside her mind. For months, Chelsea had visited Philadelphia and saw the success a particular kind of bakery was having: bagel shops. “When we were in Philadelphia, I would walk into every bagel shop I could find and talk with the owners if I could.” After months of research and support from family and friends, Chelsea began planning the transition of her business to solely selling bagels and condiments with a focus on buying fresh, quality ingredients from the Lancaster community. The name would also be changed to the Harvest Moon Bagel Co.

While preparing for this transition, Chelsea knew the ASSETS Learning Circles was a perfect fit for her. While having a great deal of experience within the food industry, she still had only a smattering of experience and knowledge about owning a business. When the first Learning Circles was available, she immediately signed up. She was put into contact with professionals who had real experience and helped her immensely with multiple areas like marketing, the city’s laws, basic accounting, etc. Chelsea found ASSETS itself to be incredibly open and friendly. “I don’t think there is anything like this in many places.”

The owners of Commonwealth on Queen also helped her in starting her business by allowing her to use their oven to bake bagels and also help make the logo for her business. With the support of friends, family, ASSETS and Commonwealth, Chelsea finally officially opened the Harvest Moon Bagel Co. on Sunday, June 26th, 2016.

In the future, Chelsea wants to continue perfecting her bagels and experimenting with different flavors for her butter and cream cheese. She wants to have her own storefront in downtown Lancaster and also have the best bagels in the county while also providing a friendly, community-oriented atmosphere. 

 

Eastern Mennonite University Alumni Help Build ASSETS

Jessica King ’96, executive director of ASSETS, visits with The Stroopie Company owner Jennie Groff (right, facing) and two employees, both refugees. (Photo by Jon Styer)

WITH HOLIDAY DEMAND ON THE UPSWING, The Stroopie Company went to two shifts in early November, allowing them to churn out up to 6,000 Dutch stroopwafels (cinnamon-y, carmel-y goodies best enjoyed with a hot beverage) a week. All six workers running the show at the company’s small production facility in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, are refugees: three from Burma and three from Syria. Once a day, they sit down with the store manager, who is also a certified ESL teacher, for a half-hour English lesson.

As a certified B Corporation, The Stroopie Company measures its success by social and environmental standards in addition to the profit column – hence the language classes and $11-an-hour starting wage offered to refugees otherwise facing limited employment prospects. Alone, however, these commitments don’t solve the challenges of solvency and profitability facing any small business. To help meet them, The Stroopie Company has turned to ASSETS, a nonprofit that has worked to create economic opportunity and reduce poverty in and around Lancaster for more than 20 years.

One of the organization’s new programs, says executive director Jessica King ’96, is called the Great Social Enterprise Pitch, which offers a series of business-planning workshops to 10 entrepreneurs who prioritize social and environmental well-being. After the workshops, five participants pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and compete for more than $50,000 in cash and services.

King with Director of Development Tina Campbell ’99 (left) and Finance Director Rosanne Jantzi ’89. (Photo by Tyler Naples)

“It gave us the confidence that we had a great idea going,” says Jennie Groff, one of the company’s owners. “We really feel like we’re poised to grow.”In 2015, The Stroopie Company won the competition, coming away with donated legal services, a free photo session for a new product catalog, and cash that it invested in new equipment.

Lancaster is a welcoming and generous community that resettles more refugees and gives, on average, more to charity than anywhere else in Pennsylvania. By integrating this philanthropic impulse into a workable business model, King says, “impact businesses” like The Stroopie Company are able to fund their own pursuit of a greater good.

“[The Stroopie Company] is a means to an end. The end is about helping their neighbors have better lives,” she says. “There are a lot of ways you can do that. Making cookies is their way of doing that.

“It’s amazing to see the kind of impact that [employers] can have on the lives of people around them, their neighbors and their employees, regardless of what their business is. It’s the spirit of ‘how’ they do it,” King continued. “It might not be all that bright and shiny, but it really matters to people. That’s what really gets me excited.”

Through its various programs, ASSETS provides training and lending to entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups as well as the impact businesses committed to social and environmental goals. During the most recent fiscal year, it supported the creation of 40 new businesses and more than 70 jobs, provided loans or long-term training to more than 150 entrepreneurs, and involved nearly 1,500 businesspeople and community members in other programs and events.

“We believe in the power of business to transform our communities for good,” says Tina Campbell ’99, director of development. “But we are also convinced that it must be equitable transformation – that all races, ethnicities and cultures must be included for true economic development to happen in our own communities.”

According to board member Kevin Ressler ’07, an important part of this vision has been ASSETS’ expanding focus over the past several years to supporting impact businesses in addition to entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups.

“This work breaks down the barriers of ‘us’ and ‘them’ and begins to see that ‘we’ is our only hope moving forward to maintain a country full of communities that don’t just co-exist but co-create and thrive together.”

Since 2008, The Stroopie Company has employed 16 refugee women in its kitchen. Many have used it as both a landing and a launching pad, a welcoming place to build experience and improve their English before moving on to other things. Recently, when a TV news crew stopped by for an interview with one of the Syrian workers, Groff called in an employee who’d just left to provide some translation help. Watching from the sidelines, Groff was struck by the poise and fluency the former employee had developed, at least in part, right there in the stroopwafel kitchen.

“She came here hardly wanting to say anything. To be able to see how she’s leaving us – it just was hugely encouraging,” says Groff. “That is totally what motivates my husband and me. It is just so rewarding to see our refugee employees come in and gain confidence. You can just almost see it happening before your very eyes.”

Top 10 Milestones at ASSETS in 2016

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who made 2016 a great year for ASSETS. We couldn’t have done this without you. We’d like you to help us celebrate some of our highlighted moments of 2016:

  1. We opened the Women’s Business Center and hired Melisa Baez as the first director of the Center! The Women’s Business Center at ASSETS is developed in partnership with the Small Business Administration to assist small business owners who are starting or expanding their small business.
  2. Two clients became certified B CorpsThe Lancaster Stroopies Company and Two Dudes Painting. B Corps certification is geared towards for-profit companies to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
  3. ASSETS became a certified SBA Microlender.
  4. We hosted two Cultivate Lancaster events, with a total of over 300 people in attendance.
  5. For our third annual Great Social Enterprise Pitch, we sold out the entire Ware Center!
  6. We launched the ASSETS Business Directory features the businesses of our wonderful clients.
  7. ASSETS is honored to have won the Samaritan Counseling Center Business in Ethics Awards.
  8. Our Director of Programs, Jonathan Coleman, received the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Young Professional’s Network (YPN) Innovation Award.
  9. Our Director of The Women’s Business Center, Melisa Baez, received MEDA’s “Ten Young Women Changing the World” award.
  10. And….. ASSETS helped over 40 businesses launch!!

Thank you so much to everyone. W wish you a wonderful and prosperous 2017!

 

 

Building Blocks of an Equitable Economy

We have been talking a lot here at the ASSETS office about building an equitable economy. We have been talking about important building blocks needed for an equitable economy.  Blocks like:

  • Customers, who are willing to make just, socially and environmentally choices in the goods and services they buy.
  • Business owners who are willing to pay their employees higher wages so that they can thrive, even if that means they don’t make as much of a profit as their competitor next door. They know that business as usual is getting us nowhere and they are committed to doing things differently.
  • Employees who, when offered meaningful employment, can build wealth and move themselves out of poverty.
  • Investors and donors, who are committed not just to a financial return but to a social return on investment.

We can’t build this new world without you.

By donating to ASSETS, you’re helping to provide resources, connections and support to small business.

By supporting the work of ASSETS, you’re helping us help local business owners create more good jobs in the community.  By investing in ASSETS you’re investing in an avant garde idea that flips the traditional business model on its head.  Because you know that the world needs new ways of doing things.

This matters because a good job is the surest path out of poverty.  And locally owned businesses – especially those who intentionally measure and improve their business practices – create the most jobs and economic benefit in a community.

Will you help us build this new world by donating to ASSETS today?

A gift from you would mean that ASSETS could work with more people like Olayinka & Saba, the owners of Melanin Essentials and the winners of the 2016 Great Social Enterprise Pitch. They believe that by helping women of color transform the way that they treat their skin and hair, providing good jobs to single mothers and combating the environmental and bodily hazards of chemical ingredients, they are not only generating a profit for themselves, but also helping to change their community.

With you, we’ll have all the blocks we need to make our local economy more equitable for everyone.

Thank you for considering this request!

The Responsibility of Businesses in the Trump Economy

When young people move into adulthood and out of home for the first time, there is a predictable response to the lack of structure that had previously been provided by parents.

For the newly unhindered, that freedom is exhilarating — all-night parties, new clothes and dinners purchased on that first credit card as well as a choice about whether to attend class or not.

With the possibility of massive deregulation, the Donald Trump political era is likely to bring some profound changes to our political and economic system.

For the newly unregulated, that could mean a level of freedom — and peril — similar to the example of the college freshman.

Case in point, if the cabinet nominees of the president-elect are confirmed, we will have a labor secretary who is an ardent and vocal opponent to workers’ rights and a head of the Environmental Protection Agency who is strongly aligned with oil, gas and coal interests and vehemently opposed to regulatory oversight.

Whether you love these choices or hate them, there is no denying that there will be deep and long-lasting effects of the desired policies — or lack thereof — that are being proposed.

As a business community, we are being “pushed out of the nest,” whether we like it or not.

Herein lies the challenge: if the regulations go away, are we going to act like the 18-year-old in his/her first semester at college?

If the EPA ceases to exist or at least decreases its environmental regulations, will Lancaster’s farms and production facilities allow our air, waterways and forests to be irreparably damaged by choosing short-term profits at the expense of long-term environmental stability?

If workers’ rights are subverted, will local businesses use that opportunity to exploit employees, further exacerbating poverty and economic inequality in our community?

Are we going to overindulge, or are we going to consider the full, long-term impact of our actions and business decisions?

If we enter a new era of an unfettered business rights and limited regulation with a short-term mindset —similar to that college freshman — we could very likely lose much of what makes Lancaster such a desirable place to live.

Our natural places and our water sources could be negatively impacted, and our air quality could continue to decline.

We may see more Lancastrians dealing with the reality of living in poverty and economic distress, which tends to result in more crime, higher incarceration and associated costs, and decreased educational attainment, among other outcomes.

Importantly for the businesses themselves, we also will see a community in which potential customers have less expendable income to spend in local businesses.

Our call to Lancaster’s businesses is to be the responsible college freshman who attends every class, studies hard and considers the future impact of their decisions.

Let’s make a decision, here and now, to protect our air quality, our waterways and our forests from degradation.

Let’s treat our employees with the respect and decency that we would want to be treated with ourselves, including ensuring them a livable wage.

Let’s not make the dwindling government programs or nonprofit sectors clean up our messes.

Let’s keep the messes from happening in the first place by considering the social and environmental impact of the business decisions we make.

More than 40 studies from sources including the Economist, Harvard Business Review and Deloitte all say that higher corporate standards around environment, social and governance practices reduce the company’s financial risk and create greater profitability.

The Trump economy is here for the next few years, so regardless of mandates from Washington, D.C., let’s continue to show this community, and the world, the long-term view, ethics and responsibility for which Lancaster businesses are known.

Evidence shows that this will have a positive return on investment for both our businesses and the community.

Jonathan Coleman is director of programs for Assets, a Lancaster-based nonprofit that works to create economic opportunity and cultivate entrepreneurial leadership in order to alleviate poverty and build vibrant, sustainable communities.

 

Lancaster poverty report: cut rate in half, move 3,000 to good jobs over 15 years

A special commission that has spent the past year studying ways to help the poor in Lancaster has issued an ambitious, 15-year plan to lift at least half out of poverty and place 3,000 into good-paying jobs.

The Mayor’s Commission to Combat Poverty is also tapping a new, permanent coalition to lead the charge in halving the city’s poverty rate, which at 29 percent exceeds the rates for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, by 2032.

“Fifteen years and get rid of half of the poverty in Lancaster city? That’s a game change,” Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray said of the commission’s work. “I’m proud of what they did.”

Gray accepted the 87-page report, titled “One Good Job,” at a celebration Thursday night at Tec Centro as the 11-member volunteer panel completed its year-long assignment.

The commission spent $135,618, about half from the Lancaster County Community Foundation.

In its report, made public Thursday night, the commission is asking the newly created Lancaster Coalition to Combat Poverty to:

  • Move 3,000 heads of households to living-wage employment.
  • Make quality pre-kindergarten classes universally available in the city.
  • Help two-thirds of the workforce acquire a post-high school degree or certificate.
  • Create 60 units of affordable housing.
  • Help 100 city families become homeowners.
  • Hire 20 block captains.
  • Establish seven neighborhood groups.

The new coalition is asked to adopt nine strategies and 25 action items. It will oversee a sizable network that includes nonprofits, government and business leaders, and seven action teams, each working on a need such as housing, education or sustainable wages.

Also, a new nonprofit community development corporation will take on housing and workforce development initiatives.

“I think the level of relationship and trust that we’ve built has already changed the game,” said Dan Jurman, commission chair and CEO of the Community Action Partnership. “We’re not strangers to each other any more, and that means something when we start talking about the real work that we’re going to have to do together.”

Funding challenge

Although progress will take money, the report is vague about finances. It asserts that “results will yield funding.”

“The challenge out there is on (potential funders) to embrace the commission’s report and invest in it,” said Carlos Graupera, a commission member and CEO of the Southeast Lancaster-based Spanish American Civic Association. “We can’t be expecting hundreds of millions of dollars to go into the downtown core, and the issues of poverty are to be resolved by selling subs.”

The poverty commission chose not to ask city council or the county commissioners to create a poverty chief or similar position funded by and accountable to elected officials. The new coalition will be accountable to itself and its funders.

Collective impact

Lancaster city poverty by census tract

Chairing the new Coalition to Combat Poverty will be Jennifer Koppel. Koppel said she’ll perform the coalition’s duties in conjunction with her role as executive director of the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness.

“We know that people who live in poverty are at a much higher risk of experiencing homelessness,” said Koppel, who joined the poverty commission midyear to fill a vacancy. “I don’t have an answer as to how much (of my time) it’s going to take. I can’t lose focus on the homeless coalition.”

The new poverty coalition will adopt “collective impact” as its way forward, modeling the approach of the homeless coalition and United Way-funded collaboratives. Collective impact holds that entrenched social problems are best tackled by diverse organizations pulling together toward a shared goal.

The commission says its goals are achievable if “we come together and create broad systems change in a way unprecedented in our community’s history.”

Agencies working together to attack poverty is not a new concept here. For about a decade at the turn of the millennium, five nonprofits formed The Inner City Group to revitalize the South Duke Street corridor, an effort that expired after achieving some headway.

“It was flawed in some areas, but it did some important things,” said Graupera, who headed one of the five cooperating agencies. “It gave us a lot of things to learn from.”

Helping individuals

The commission’s report offers comprehensive detail about how to help individual households overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. It says connecting the poor to living-wage employment “is at the core” of the commission’s recommendations.

The report is less concrete about how to break up the concentration of poverty in Lancaster neighborhoods where more than 40 percent of households live below federal poverty guidelines.

The report, for instance, does not advocate restructuring high-poverty schools or breaking up neighborhoods of public housing that cement hundreds of poor families in Lancaster’s Southeast.

The report, however, does contain a chapter, called “Our Apology,” that acknowledges the toxic consequences of racial segregation and 1960s-era urban renewal housing policies.

“We’ll need your help to push back against these philosophies and policies, and set the south side of the city back on a path toward prosperity,” the report says.

Jobs focus

Commission chair Jurman said the report is titled “One Good Job” for a reason.

“It’s about the difference that one good job makes, not just for the person’s income, but for the amount of time that they can spend with their family and the time that they can get engaged in the community,” Jurman said. “One good job clears up tons of symptoms of poverty that we no longer need nonprofits to artificially supplement.”

Drawing from an antipoverty initiative in Richmond, Virginia, the report recommends creating a workforce development agency that would be a more nimble and flexible alternative to the state-run CareerLink employment office.

The new initiative, for example, would hire “navigators” to work one-on-one with hard-to-hire workers, particularly single mothers, as they seek to overcome training, child care, transportation and other obstacles to employment. The Community Action Partnership already employs seven navigators.

Separately, the Community Action Partnership, working with the High companies and nonprofits, has assembled a crew of hard-to-hire workers into a construction/ landscaping team to work on projects in impoverished neighborhoods.

The workers get on-the-job training, earn living wages and receive social supports such as budgeting classes. Motivated team members can go on to better-paying positions with High or work with the nonprofit ASSETS to start a small business.

“They will earn enough to someday purchase the very homes they’re rehabilitating,” the report says.

Education initiatives include expanding the community school model to more city schools, strengthening after-school programs and aligning curriculum with workforce needs.

No silver bullet

poverty hearing
An audience listens during a poverty commission hearing in June at Bright Side Baptist Church in Lancaster. The commission held four hearings in 2016. JEFF HAWKES | Staff Writer

Tom Baldrige, a commission member and president of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said he entered the yearlong effort hoping for a unique, game-changing solution, but he learned the problem is too big for a silver bullet.

“What I think this report does is recognize the reality of the hard work and the broad level of engagement that’s going to be required to address the issue,” Baldrige said. “I think the report in that way is much more realistic and in the long term has much more impact.”

Graupera, who brought to the commission’s discussions decades of experience in trying to remake the inner city, said it will take all hands on deck to push the agenda forward.

“Regardless of what happened in the past,” he said, “we need to move forward with investment by schools, public officials, foundations, the private sector, and I think that’s where we need to position this effort.”

The Lancaster County Community Foundation contributed $65,000 to the commission’s work. Franklin & Marshall College gave $59,000 as part of its annual in-lieu-of-taxes payment. The city paid $11,681, said Patrick Hopkins, the city’s business administrator.

ASSETS to participate in the 2016 ExtraOrdinary Give!

ASSETS is a non-profit organization focused on transforming our community through business. We provide training, 1-on-1 coaching and financing to entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business.
Thanks to Waller Financial for matching funds!
The direct giving link for ASSETS is here. Giving begins at 12:01 am on Friday, November 18.

help sponsor the journey, through a 10-week educational program, for 1 entrepreneur in starting a business, supporting Lancaster’s low-income communities.

help support a Lending Circle through professional development and technical assistance, to better manage their businesses and increase profits.

help provide a social entrepreneur with tools they need to make a positive impact in our community through business.

We hope you will consider donating to ASSETS during the ExtraOrdinary Give! Our donation site will become live on November 18 at 12:01am. Please share with your friends, or anyone else who you think might be interested in our mission to alleviate poverty in our community through business!