Loan Program Brings Independent Grocery Stores to Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI) has provided $42 million in grants and loans to finance 58 locally-owned grocery stores, combating fresh grocery shortages in areas of rural and urban Pennsylvania.

"By providing loans that commercial lenders deem too risky and grants to make up for the higher costs of developing stores in central business districts and urban neighborhoods, this $120 million investment fund is seeding a new crop of food markets across the state."

"That no big chains have yet taken advantage of the fund suggests that the added costs and financial risks involved in building a store in a low-income neighborhood or a small town are not the primary reasons supermarket chains have avoided these locations.

Many independents, on the other hand, see real opportunities in these neighborhoods and have the flexibility to adapt their stores to fit into historic buildings or odd-shaped lots. For them, the fund not only overcomes the higher costs of opening stores in these locations. It solves what may well be a more pivotal factor driving the grocery store gap: independent retailers, unlike chains, lack access to sufficient capital."

Thanks to Justin Dahlheimer

Full Story: Pennsylvania Seeds a New Crop of Local Grocery Stores

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