ISSUE 210 | June 9, 2023

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Scranton joins statewide efforts to improve outdoor equity


The concept of outdoor equity has emerged amid efforts to remove access barriers to natural resources.

The City of Scranton has addressed this issue by partnering with the nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL), and the city has been offered funding and expertise through the organization’s Park Equity Accelerator.

Valley in Motion is supporting these efforts through public meetings that address community connectedness with local parks.

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Railway excursions bring action to local cities   


After almost five decades, train service has returned to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Reading & Northern Railroad is offering travel between Jim Thorpe and Pittston throughout the summer.

The excursion is expected to enhance economic vitality in both areas.

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Certification to enhance care for Spanish-speaking patients  


A new graduate certificate program at Elizabethtown College allows students to study Medical Spanish.

The 15-credit online opportunity covers medical terminology in Spanish, barriers to care among Hispanic and Latinx patients, best linguistic practices, and cultural factors that influence self-care.

Eligibility guidelines require applicants to prove recent completion of a 300-level Spanish course or complete a placement exam.

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Policy makes way for mental health support in child care   

The child care sector has suffered considerably throughout the pandemic.

The stressors already affecting service providers – strenuous work, low pay, and staff shortages – were amplified, and many children who remained home during their formative years faced kindergarten without the social and emotional skills typically acquired in daycare and preschool programs.

Efforts such as the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) make mental health support available to services providers, families, and children.

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Gender-related disparities in small business lending are slowly waning    


The Small Business Administration supports entrepreneurs and small businesses in need of capital.

For example, the 7(a) loan guaranty program assists small businesses owned by women, with 47,677 loans totaling $25.6 billion in 2022 alone.

Women-owned establishments have historically received fewer loan approvals and less loan value than men-owned establishments, though the gap is slowly closing.


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CDFIs offer fair lending to support immigrant communities  

Various Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are offering flexible loans to assist immigrants with the costly naturalization process.

These loans alleviate fears among individuals with low incomes and to whom only predatory lending may be available.

The Capital Good Fund, for example, provides loans with no closing fees or down payments required – while enabling borrowers to build credit.


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