FLEX Feature: Northwest Commission with Rebecca Beach

We started our new “FLEX Feature” series in January, and we’re excited to feature a young professional again! This time Rebecca Beach is sharing about a nonprofit— the Northwest Commission, located at 395 Seneca Street in Oil City.

Tell us about the Northwest Commission.
The Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission (Northwest Commission) was established in 1967 as a domestic nonprofit corporation for economic and business development as well as community development and planning. Funding for the Commission comes from local, state, and federal levels of government. The staff is dedicated to sustaining economic vitality and growth in the region by fostering local, state and federal partnerships across public and private sectors lines.

What areas does the Commission cover?
The agency was created to serve the eight-county region of Northwest Pennsylvania to include Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties.

What is your role at the organization?
I am the Loan Program Manager and administer and market the loan programs at the Commission. I work with entrepreneurs, lenders, and economic development partners to meet the financing needs of small businesses in the eight-county region. I also supervise the loan program staff and work with our funding sources to manage the loan funds while facilitating client intake, underwriting, and packaging loan applications for review.

What is your favorite part about working for the Northwest Commission?
I really enjoy meeting with people, getting to know them and their goals and dreams, and assisting their small business in our region with growth, expansion, success

What would surprise people about the organization?
We are able to assist start-up businesses. They are not required to be in business for a certain period of time to be eligible to apply for potential assistance with financing. If they have a business plan, financial projections, and the necessary documentation we can process the request for consideration.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
In addition to Business Financing, the Northwest Commission also offers International Sales, Government Contracting, Greenways Block Grants, Local Technical Assistance Program, Transportation Project Planning, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) & U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grants and we serve as the Regional Coordinator for the Northwest Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP).

Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing with us for our second FLEX Feature! You can learn more about Northwest Commission at

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) February 2022 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

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