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The financing programs listed on this page are programs that are available to business owners and entrepreneurs in addition to traditional bank financing. You may be required to prepare a business plan before applying to one of the programs listed below.

Government Finance Programs:

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  • Grants – a few grants are available for specific situations
  • Loans - take note of the stated requirements and uses of funds
  • Loan Guarantee – SBA and USDA programs

A few are available for specific situations. All of these programs are very competitive and have strict requirements.

Ben Franklin Partnership: Challenge Grant Program

Eligible Businesses: Manufacturers, small businesses, early venture companies
Uses: Applied research/ development, technical assistance, entrepreneurial assistance emerging technology
Maximum Amount: $10,000 to $100,000
Terms: Royality up to 3 times the grant amount payable from sales.
Requirements: Project proposal demonstrating economic impact, jobs created/ retained: provide a one-to-two cash match
Contact:  Ben Franklin Partnership: (570) 819-4002

Opportunity Grant Program

Eligible Businesses: Firms that will create/retain jobs in PA
Uses: Job training, infrastructure, land/building improvements, machinery/equipment, working capital, environmental.
Terms: 4-to-1 to public match
Requirements: Must provide economic impact for either commonwealth or locality
Contact: Governor’s Action Team: (570) 787-8199

Office of Vocation Rehabilitation:
Eligible Businesses: Firms owned by or employing client (s) of OVR
Uses: Machinery and equipment purchase
Maximum Amount: $10,000-$15,000, depending on county
Contact: Local OVR office

Downtown Façade Renovation
Eligible Businesses: Location in certain cities in NEPA (e.g.Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, and Pottsville). The business locations are very specific blocks of each area.
Uses: Rehabilitation building façades
Maximum Amount: Varies depending on city
Requirements: 50% match
Contact: Local City Economic Development Agency, Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Common Development at (570) 826-8252, Hazleton Office of Economic Development: (570) 459-4913.

City of Wilkes-Barre Enterprise Zone-Competitive Grant Program
Eligible Businesses: Manufacturers, technology firms
Uses: Expand plant, buy machinery/ equipment
Maximum Amount: 30% of project costs
Terms: Project proposal
Requirements: One job created per $15,000 loaned: 50% of jobs must be above minimum wage
Fees: None
Contact: Wilkes-Barre Enterprise Zone: (570) 826-8252

The state and federal government have financed several loan programs for small businesses, which offer low interest rates. These programs were developed to stimulate business growth and create jobs. Thus, all of these programs have specific job creation requirements and apply in each case only to certain types of businesses, depending on the loan program. In addition some programs require that the borrowed match the financing. The Economic Development Council of NEPA: Tom Pellegrini (570) 655-5581. For business in Columbia County: SEDA-COG (570) 524-4491. For those in Sullivan County: Northern Tier Regional P&D Commission (570) 265-9130.

The following are programs in addition to those described above:

Small Business First
Eligible Businesses: Businesses with 100 or fewer employees, excluding retail and service with some exceptions
Uses: Buy land, building construction, machinery/equipment, working capital
Maximum Amount: $200,000 or $100,000 for working capital: Interest Rate: 5%
Terms: Up to 10 years
Requirements: One job created/retained per $25,000 borrowed
Fees: None
Contact: PA Department of Community and Economic Development: (570) 5053 or EDCNP @ (570) 655-5581

Luzerne County Business Development Loan Program
Eligible Businesses: New, existing businesses
Uses: Buy land, building construction, machinery/equipment, working capital
Maximum Amount: $1,000,000 Interest Rate: 4% to 7%
Terms: 1 to 15 years
Requirements: One job created/retained per $30,000 borrowed
Fees: 0.5% of the loan or $1,000
Contact: Luzerne County Office of Community Development, Wilkes-Barre: (570) 824-7214

NEPIRC Revolving Loan Program
Eligible Businesses: Manufacturers with the 2000-3900 Standard industrial Classification code range
Uses: Computer hardware, computer software, computer equipment, and working capital
Maximum Amount: Up to $100,000, depending upon projects
Interest Rate: 4 Points below the New York prime lending rate, but no less than 4%
Terms: 3-7 years
Requirements: Must sustain or create manufacturing jobs, must be located within an eight-county region: private financing with a two-to-one private match
Fees: 1% commitment fee and $200 application fee
Contact: Donald A. Olszewski, Hanover Industrial Estates, (570) 819-8966

Metro Action Inc. Microloan Program
Eligible Businesses: All types of businesses except speculation and real estate investments
Uses: Working Capital, machinery/ equipment, leasehold improvements
Maximum Amount: $2,500-$25,000
Interest Rate: Current prime rate
Terms: 12-36 months
Requirements: Located in Lackawanna, Luzerne, or Monroe County
Fees: $25 application fee, 1% closing fee, legal and filing fees
Contact: Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, (570) 342-7711

City of Wilkes-Barre Business Loan Program
Eligible Businesses: Must be located in designated areas of downtown Wilkes-Barre
Uses: Depends on loan programs
Terms and Requirements: Depends on loan program
Contact: City of Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Community Development at (570) 826-8252

City of Hazleton Business Development Loan Program
Eligible Businesses: Businesses in Hazleton
Uses: Buy land or building, machinery/equipment, working capital
Maximum Amount: $150,000
Interest Rate: 6%
Terms: 1 year
Requirements: One job created per $30,000 loaned: one job retained per $15,000 loaned
Fees: Set by lender
Contact: Hazleton Office or Economic Development (570) 459-4913

Others may be available in your area!

Loan Guarantees

Business and Industrial Guarantee Loan Program
Eligible Businesses: Business or industry increasing employment or controlling pollution with priority given to projects in open country, rural communities, and towns of 25,000 and smaller
Uses: Increase employment, control/abate pollution, development of land
Maximum Amount: $10 million, with approved expectations for $10-25 million
Interest Rate: Negotiated with lender
Terms: 7-30 years
Requirements: Collateral to secure entire loan and lender certification of equity
Fees: Guarantee fee of 2% of principal loan amount multiplied by the percent of the guarantee
Contact: USDA Rural Development: (570) 782-2209

US SBA 7 (A) Guaranty Loans
Eligible Businesses: Small businesses
Uses: Buy land, building construction, machinery/equipment, working capital
Maximum Amount: 80% of financing up to $750,000
Terms: Up to 25 years
Requirements: Set by lender
Fees: Set by lender



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