Penn-Northwest Boosts Mercer County Business

HERMITAGE, Pa. – Penn-Northwest Development Corp. welcomed two new companies to Mercer County in 2021, reports Rod Wilt, executive director.

Hall Industries expanded from Ellwood City, Pa., into Grove City,Pa., and Dean Natural Vending relocated its company headquarters to Hermitage, Pa.

Much of Penn-Northwest’s focus last year was on assisting Mercer County’s business recovery efforts, Wilt says.

Through multiple programs funded by the federal government and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Penn-Northwest disbursed more than $1.5 million in assistance grants to Mercer County businesses that experienced economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Community Development Block Grant program, funded though the Cares Act, was created to assist business owners in retaining low-to-moderate income jobs.

Penn-Northwest worked with five municipalities and Mercer County to award more than  $350,000 to businesses that met the extremely rigorous grant criteria, according to Wilt.

Through Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program, Penn-Northwest distributed grants to 58 local businesses that met these grant guidelines.

More than $1.2 million was awarded, primarily to hotels and restaurants. Penn-Northwest worked closely with Mercer County on the application and approval process, Wilt says.

During the development organization’s annual meeting in late October, Penn-Northwest recognized six local companies and four individuals for the contributions they made to improving Mercer County.

The organization also finished 2021 with solid support from area foundations and members, according to Wilt.

“With 49 new members joining in calendar year 2021, Penn-Northwest looks forward to exciting initiatives to come in 2022,” Wilt says.