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 2021, the Chamber’s economic development arm, The Greater Wilkes Barre Industrial Fund, as a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO), partnered with Hazleton CAN DO to provide and manage a grant program funded by the state to help hospitality businesses - the COVID 19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program. Through this program, the Industrial Fund was able to assist 144 businesses by providing $2,425,000 in grants.
Additionally, in the fall of 2021, the Industrial Fund and the City of Wilkes-Barre launched the Spark Wilkes-Barre Grant Program to generate economic development activity in our region by facilitating the growth of new companies and relocation of existing businesses to the City of Wilkes-Barre. This program provides financial incentives that correspond with the completion of free current and existing business development curriculum modules, provided by Wilkes-Barre Connect partners - pairing educational pathways with grant funding to help you successfully launch your business and ensure its sustainability in a Wilkes-Barre City location. The Spark Wilkes-Barre Grant Program is funded by the City of Wilkes-Barre's American Rescue Plan Act's Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
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 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.
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.
The Commonwealth Financing Authority Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth. Funds may be used for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, connectivity of transportation assets and transit-oriented development.
The Penn DOT Multimodal Grant Program provides grants to ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of this commonwealth. Funds may be used for the development, rehabilitation, and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, connectivity of transportation assets and transit-oriented development.
The PA Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (Act 2004-71) as amended has established the Pennsylvania Gaming Local Share Account ("Local Share Account") under the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) for the purpose of distributing 2% of gross terminal revenues of certain licensed gaming facilities in an orderly and timely fashion to support and enhance community and economic well-being and mitigate the impact of gaming and related activities. Projects in the Public Interest: Projects that improve the quality of life of citizens in the community.
Act 13 of 2012 establishes the Marcellus Legacy Fund and allocates funds to the Commonwealth Financing Authority (the "Authority") for abandoned mine drainage, abatement, and treatment with the Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Program (AMDATP). Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) is one of the largest sources of stream impairment in Pennsylvania. Billions of gallons of AMD impair over 5,500 miles of streams within the Commonwealth. Projects which involve the reclamation of Abandoned Mine Well(s), construction of a new AMD site, remediation and repair of existing AMD project sites, operation and maintenance maintaining current AMD remediation sites, establishment of trust fund to ensure ongoing maintenance is achieved, and monitoring of water quality to track or continue to trace non-point source load reductions resulting from AMD remediation projects.
The Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP) Grant and Loan Program provides grant and low-interest loan financing to perform environmental site assessment and remediation work at former industrial sites. As a certified economic development organization (CEDO), the Industrial Fund can apply to receive grant funds. Use of funds include: Phase I, II and Ill environmental assessments; Remediation of hazardous substances.
The Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) provides grants to construct the last few miles of natural gas distribution lines to business parks, existing manufacturing and industrial enterprises, which will result in the creation of new economic base jobs in the commonwealth while providing access to natural gas for residents. Funds may be used for acquisition, construction, and site preparation costs associated with extending natural gas pipelines to serve eligible applicants.
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.
Find a complete list of state grant and loan programs available through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development HERE. Find more information on funding available through the NEPA Alliance HERE.