Rep. Bizzarro: $20 Million awarded to boost local small businesses

Money will fund investments, loans to spur business & job growth

ERIE, Sept. 13 – The Erie region will see a boost in economic development funding, after the announcement that $246.8 million in American Rescue Plan funding is being distributed in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced Tuesday.

The funding will flow through the State Small Business Credit Initiative to local economic development partners that will make direct equity investments and loans to small businesses that can grow and expand job creation opportunities in places like Erie.

“The Erie region isn’t just bouncing back from the pandemic – we’re still working to overcome the economic downturns from previous generations,” said Bizzarro. “I’m excited to see the success of new, innovative businesses starting up, or expanding their operations locally, and this money can help them continue that success.”

Nearly $123 million in Direct Venture Investment funding was awarded statewide, including $19,678,479 to Ben Franklin Technology Partners Central & Northern Pennsylvania, which covers Erie County. The Direct Venture Investment program provides funding to economic development organizations in the commonwealth to provide seed and later-stage capital for existing and emerging companies involved in the development and commercialization of technologically advanced products and processes.

More than $123.8 million in Revolving Loan Funds was awarded statewide, including to the Northwest Commission, which received $1,020,000. The Revolving Loan Fund program provides funding to economic development organizations to create or recapitalize revolving loan funds to support financing for Pennsylvania small businesses.

“We have the workforce, and we have the infrastructure to keep our economy growing,” Bizzarro said. “This money will help bridge the gap for local companies who are ready to take their business to the next level.”

Capital programs are scheduled to be open by Oct. 17. Small businesses should apply for funding through the appropriate economic development organizations.