Formed in 1989, as a public-private partnership, the Washington County Council on Economic Development began to address the economic problems faced by Washington County as the result of an exodus of major industry which was once the region’s lifeblood.
Early on, the Council realized that a lack of access to capital by small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups was having a devastating effect on the region. The Council established the Washington County Gap Fund, our first loan program, which began the task of securing funds for creation of a lending pool for business start-up and expansion. Today, we have added the SBA Microloan Program, the USDA Intermediary Revolving Loan Program(s) (IRP), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Loan Program, the US Department of Treasury (CDFI) Loan Programs and the PA DCED Loan Program. Our service area includes Washington, Greene, Fayette, and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania.
In 1994, by an act of Congress, the Council became the first SBA Microlender to cross state lines to add Monongalia County in West Virginia to its SBA Microloan service area. Today we are proud to make SBA Microloans available to Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Monongalia, Marion, Tyler, Pleasants, Doddridge, Harrison, Wood, Ritchie and Wirt Counties in West Virginia.
Over the past 20 plus years, the Council has invested in over 375 start-ups and small growing business ventures, helping to create or maintain over 3,035 life-sustaining wage jobs in our region.
In addition to providing loans for many successful small businesses, the Council has also assisted in the financing and construction of the Washington Federal Square building, and the restoration of the historic Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station, both located in Washington, Pennsylvania.
WCCED was also recognized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in its “JOLI: Best Practices” publication of 2001 for the Council’s work with Pennsylvania Transformer Technology, Inc. to bring training and manufacturing jobs to low-income residents of Washington County. In addition the WCCED won the 2001 Washington County Beautification Award and the 2002 Dominion Peoples Community Impact Award.
Currently, WCCED is continuing to operate its loan funds while directing the development of the Starpointe Business Park near Burgettstown. The park features state-of-the-art utilities and facilities while retaining the rural aesthetic of the region. It is currently the largest brownfield site under reclamation for a business park in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It has received a “Brownfield Action Team” (BAT) site designation from Pennsylvania to assist in the development. Starpointe is located at the intersection of PA 18 and US 22 in Hanover Township, just ten minutes from the Pittsburgh International Airport via the Findley Connector.
“The Washington County Council on Economic Development mission is to address poverty by provision of loans, land and business technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses that will create jobs in our region. “Providing the means for a dream” by financing the opening, or expanding of businesses.”
Our current service area: