Startup Alleghenies Launches First Online Holiday Market to Benefit Small Businesses in the Region

 In entrepreneur, News

It has never been more important to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Alleghenies. That is why Startup Alleghenies (SUA) launched its first online Holiday Market. The  directory, which will be available on the SUA website from November 27 to December 31, 2020, includes entrepreneurs and small businesses from six counties, including: Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Fulton, and Somerset.

“We wanted to make it easy to find inspiration and unique gift ideas for friends and family while still supporting entrepreneurs who have chosen the Alleghenies as the place to start their businesses,” said Debbi Prosser, director-business development, Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC).

Santa’s Helpers can use this directory to find the perfect gifts for everyone on their shopping list and support local businesses by following the links to the businesses in the Holiday Market. Offerings include everything from skincare to clothing, leather boots, honey, candles, apparel, beauty products, craft beers and local wines, sporting goods, home goods, and more.  In addition, many small businesses participating in the Holiday Market are offering special promotions and coupons on their websites.

Since the movement started three years ago, Startup Alleghenies has reported the creation of 216 new businesses in the Alleghenies, that created 427 new jobs and leveraged $6.5 million in private investment (April 2017-September 30, 2020). Prosser credits the flexibility and commitment of the SUA entrepreneur coaches and the ecosystem’s network of partners with SUA’s ongoing success despite the pandemic.

The importance of small businesses to the both the regional and U.S. economy continues to grow. According to a report, PA Small Business Profile 2020, issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, 1.1 million (99.6 percent of PA businesses) are small businesses, employing 2.5 million (46.2 percent) PA workers.

About Startup Alleghenies:  Startup Alleghenies (  is a free program that connects existing and potential entrepreneurs with experienced Coaches to help them navigate a vast network of partners at economic development groups, private organizations, colleges, and universities. It was launched with a POWER grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and the support of the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED).