Media Coverage | Local organizations launch counseling program for small business owners

Mar 29, 2022

By: Jordyn Hronec  | Pittsburgh Business Times | Mar 25, 2022 | Read the full article

Two local nonprofits have partnered to launch a new program offering financial counseling to small business owners.

Neighborhood Allies and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, along with the New York City-based Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund are working together on the program, which is called Small Business Boost. The program will offer one-on-one financial counseling free of charge to small business owners and entrepreneurs through the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center.

The Small Business Boost program is being funded by a $1 million grant from Principal Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal Financial Services Inc.

Pittsburgh joins Akron, Ohio; Lansing, Missouri; Polk County, Iowa; and Rochester, New York as cities offering such programs via the partnership between CFE Fund and local Financial Empowerment Centers. Neighborhood Allies and the URA said that the focus in Pittsburgh, however, will be on assisting Black business owners and entrepreneurs.

“While the Financial Empowerment Center can assist anyone who needs financial counseling services, with this grant we’re able to develop the expertise to help entrepreneurs. We’re focusing our efforts on Black entrepreneurs, who have traditionally lacked access to capital and credit,” Sarah Dieleman Perry, director of economic opportunity at Neighborhood Allies, said.

Neighborhood Allies and the URA are currently working to connect local small business owners and entrepreneurs with the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center and the Small Business Boost program. Those looking to connect with the center and its services can do so by going to, emailing, or calling 1-800-298-0237. To date, the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center has already helped 474 residents reduce debt by $2,642,000 and build savings by $1,673,000.

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