Innovating the Valley is the priority of our Certified Economic Development Organization, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund assists in providing low-interest loans to business and industry through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) and other public business financing programs.
In the past year, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund has pivoted many of its core offerings to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. In March, PIDA announced their COVID-19 Working Capital Access (CWCA) loan program, and we were in an authorized group to handle application submissions. Through the weeks following, our team interfaced with approximately 120 small business owners in NEPA, working with them to put together their loan applications and submit them for review. We were able to secure over $1.9 million in working capital loans for 24 local businesses, protecting approximately 260 local jobs. If more funding becomes available in the future, our organization is ready to be there as a resource to help our small businesses navigate the process.
Additionally, during a normal year, there are numerous federal, state and local grants, loans and training programs available that the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund regularly assists with. Our area offers some incentive programs that are not available anywhere else in the state – giving the Greater Wyoming Valley area a competitive advantage for businesses that are interested in expanding locally or relocating to our region.
The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) Loan Program provides low-interest loans and lines of credit for eligible businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs and for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities. Those interested in the program must apply through a Certified Economic Development Organization, like the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund.
The Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority (PEDFA) - Tax-Exempt Bond Program and the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority (PEDFA) -Taxable Bond Program, both in pooled transactions and as stand-alone transactions, can be used to finance land, building, equipment, working capital and refinancing. PEDFA can finance up to 100% of eligible project costs, provided the borrower obtains a letter of credit from a local bank equal to the amount of the bond. Interest rates for tax-free loans are substantially lower than U.S. prime and are weekly variable.
Eligible businesses that move into a Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ) are exempt from paying a variety of state and local taxes including local real estate taxes and gross receipts taxes, as well as Pennsylvania's capital stock and franchise tax and corporate net income tax, through 2010.
The Job Creation Tax Credits (JCTC) state program offers employers a $1,000 tax credit per full-time job, per year. A business may claim credits only after a job has been created. Jobs must be created within three years from the start date and all tax credits must be claimed within five years from receipt of the tax credit certificate.
MetroAction specializes in providing term loans to start-up and expanding businesses. The loan programs offer flexible requirements as it pertains to credit, collateral requirements, and credit scores.
In addition to these tax and loan programs, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund also has years of experience assisting in grant applications such as the Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Program (AMDATP), the Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP), Local Share Account (LSA) – Luzerne County, Multimodal Transportation Fund, the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), and more!
Find a complete list of state grant and loan programs available through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development HERE.