The former Mon Valley bank reopens as a startup incubator

A closed bank branch in the Mon Valley has reopened as a nonprofit hub for small businesses and entrepreneurs, thanks to a new partnership fueled by a charitable donation in the form of a large real estate discount.

The Mon Valley Business Resource Center – now open in the former Community Bank branch on Main Street in Monongahela – aims to help accelerate economic growth and revitalization across the region.

The center will provide meeting space, digital production tools and a wide range of consulting and networking opportunities for growing or struggling businesses, while serving as an incubator for start-ups and emerging business ideas. grass. The building will also house the headquarters of the association My Valley Alliance and its foundation.

“The business landscape is changing everywhere – that’s why we’re supporting initiatives like the Business Resource Center (My Valley) that will create a more collaborative and cooperative workforce in southwestern Pennsylvania,” said John H. Montgomery, President and CEO of Community Bank. “Our commitment to building a stronger community across the region is perfectly aligned with the industrial, business and community development strategies of My Valley Alliance.

The effort was spurred on by Community Bank, which sold the branch building to the nonprofit Mon Valley Alliance at a below-market price. The property was valued at approximately $ 280,000 and the company sold it to the Alliance for only $ 50,000, resulting in a charitable contribution of $ 230,000.

“The Mon Valley Alliance is extremely grateful to Community Bank for its investment in our organization, ”said Ben Brown, CEO of My Valley Alliance. “Community Bank has been a leader in this region for decades. Their support for the Mon Valley Business Resource Center is just another example of their leadership, which will allow us to significantly expand our economic development services in the Mon Valley community.

At an event celebrating the new center on Friday afternoon, Brown called its opening “a historic day in the valley.” He joined representatives and dignitaries of the Community Bank, including State Senator Camera Bartolotta, R-Carroll, and State Representative Bud Cook, R-Daisytown and Monongahela Mayor Greg Garry.

Although the center has opened, several renovation projects are still underway, including the addition of conference and training rooms and the construction of a hotel-style lobby for business meetings. Future plans include the design of a multimedia room for video and audio production, and the construction of outdoor spaces for meetings and networking along the exterior of the building.

Mon Valley Alliance was formed in 2016 with the merger of two long-standing economic development organizations with roots dating back to the 1960s, the Mon Valley Progress Council and the Middle Monongahela Industrial Development Association. It aims to bring industry, businesses and communities to work together to improve the region. The Alliance’s programs include loans and grants to small businesses, the rehabilitation of dilapidated properties and the eradication of the scourge.

The recently opened Mon Valley Resource Center is located in the former branch of the Community Bank at 235 W. Main St. in Monongahela.

Natasha Lindstrom is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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