Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority reports that it has invested $12.8 million in the city’s food economy since 2014.
The URA said in a report to Pittsburgh City Council that it has provided $11 million in loans to 152 food-related businesses and offered technical assistance to another 99 food businesses.
The URA report said the assistance spurred the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.
More than half of the loans distributed by the URA went to minority- or women-owned businesses, the authority said.
The URA’s report highlighted several programs it is working on to bolster the city’s food economy.
Catapult Culinary will allow 15 businesses to participate in a 12-month business incubation program for minority food-based entrepreneurs. The URA also is developing a Farm-A-Lot program to offer longer-term leases or lease-to-purchase agreements for commercial agriculture and smaller-scale farms operated by community groups or residents.
It also is exploring additional grocery store projects and developing a community food-cart park and incubator space in Uptown.
The URA said it is collaborating with Food21 on a banquet hall, catering incubation center and culinary education center space in Larimer.
Councilwoman Deb Gross, who sponsored legislation requesting the URA report late last year, said the report provides data that officials can use to see where they may need to provide additional investments in food programs, and where such investments are already doing well.
“I’m really excited to start the conversation to see how we might better meet the needs of this industry,” Gross said.
Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, email@example.com or via Twitter .