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Turon Cummings of Creative Conecepts

Peoples Bank, Legacy Foundation partner to launch neighborhood businesses

Contributed By:The 411 News

Food entrepreneur Turon Cummings' Creative Conecepts receives first grant

That philanthropy and economic development can be the twin engines to grow small businesses in Lake County is the basis of a partnership between the Legacy Foundation, Peoples Bank, and Accion.

The organizations have collaborated to form the Small Business Development Pilot Project. With a donation from Peoples Bank, the charitable fund supports grants administered by Legacy Foundation for small business development in low-to-moderate income communities of Lake County, Indiana.

Local small business owner, Turon Cummings, received the first grant from the Peoples Bank Charitable Fund at Legacy Foundation.

Cummings is from Whiting, Ind. and owns Creative Conecepts, which sells cone shaped bread that is stuffed with various fillings. Cummings purchased a food cart in 2014 with an initial loan from Accion to sell his cones at street festivals. The cones were rated among the top 10 sandwiches competing at the 2014 World Food Championships. In 2015, Cummings received a second loan to grow his business from a food cart to a food truck.

“At Peoples Bank, our mission is to make our customers and communities more successful. We understand that small businesses are the backbone of the local economy, and this partnership between Peoples Bank, Legacy Foundation, and Accion provides needed working capital to local small business who are either just starting their business or expanding,” said Greg Bracco, senior vice president, business banking manager.

“We’re excited to be included in this partnership with Peoples Bank and Accion to spark economic development in Lake County,” said Legacy Foundation President and CEO, Carolyn Saxton.

Accion, a nonprofit community lender, identifies candidates for the Small Business Development Pilot Project.

Businesses eligible for the pilot program will have received consulting from and been referred to Accion by the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center.

Qualifying businesses will be located in and developed by entrepreneurs from Lake County, Indiana communities/towns/cities that are identified as low-to-moderate income under HUD guidelines.

Qualifying businesses will have secured a loan from Accion and will have repaid the loan in full within the repayment schedule established by Accion at the time the loan was made.

On Tuesday, June 5, Peoples Bank and representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the NWI Small Business Development Center and the Regional Development Company will host SBA Day to offer advice on starting or growing a small business. The event will take place at Embassies of Christ in Gary, Ind., from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Contact Nancy Schneider at (219) 853-7538 to attend.

Story Posted:06/01/2018

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