Welcome to Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, small business loan products for the Lehigh Valley!
Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Program Guidelines
- Be at least 18 years of age and a current resident of Pennsylvania for at least one year.
- Creative entrepreneur’s business must have gross revenue less than $200,000.
- Be a creative entrepreneur intending to form a business or operating a business in Pennsylvania within one or more of the following creative industry areas:
- Marketing – Advertising and marketing agencies & professionals
- Architecture – Architecture firms & architects
- Visual Arts & Crafts – Galleries, artists, artisans & makers
- Design – Product, interior, graphic, and fashion design firms and designers
- Film & Media – Film, video, animation, TV & Radio businesses
- Digital Games – Companies, programmers & individuals producing games.
- Music & Entertainment –Producers, venues, musicians & performers
- Publishing – Print or electronic businesses & content creators, editors & writers
Eligible Uses of Funds
Funds must support business formation or development. Eligible uses of funds include:
- Professional fees for workshops, consultants, and career coaching.
- Participation in events, trade shows, festivals, etc. that offer access to audience and revenue generation potential.
- Business development fees for courses or seminars for business skills.
- Research and development.
- Marketing and promotion.
- Development or upgrades to technology related to business practices.
- Studio/rehearsal/retail space rent.
- Reasonable fees for supporting/collaborating artists.
- Purchase of supplies and equipment.
Funds cannot be used for the following:
- Activities outside the funding period.
- Activities that have a religious purpose.
- Payments to lobbyists.
- Activities for which academic credit is given.
- Offsets to regular business operating costs, including regular salary or wages.
- Hospitality, food, or beverages.
- Eligible entrepreneurs must engage a PPA Partner designated Referral Coordinator in at least one consultation regarding a business formation or development activity.
- The Referral Coordinator will confirm that the client has demonstrated appropriate business planning as defined by the program guidelines (see below).
- The Referral Coordinator must submit a completed referral form to the PPA Partner.
- Referral of a creative entrepreneur to a PPA Partner does not guarantee funding will be made; the PPA Partner will make determinations of eligibility and availability of funds.
For the purposes of the Program, “viable business plan” means evidence of planning directed at forming a for-profit business or pursuing sustainable growth opportunities for an existing for-profit business. Evidence of planning may take a variety of forms and may be assessed by the Referral Coordinators’ existing methods of working with clients. Examples of appropriate planning include, but are not limited to:
- New business brief
- Completed Business Model Canvases
- Participation in business planning workshop
- Streamlined pitch deck
- Recorded business pitch presentation
- Extensive business plan