Longietti: $1 million available in DEP grants for small businesses and farmers

HARRISBURG, July 26 – The state Department of Environmental Protection is offering $1 million in Small Business Advantage grants for projects that foster energy efficiency, pollution prevention and natural resource protection, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced.

“This is a win-win for small business owners who are looking for ways to boost their productivity while being mindful to the impact their operations have on the environment,” Longietti said. “These grants are a valuable way boost productivity, and encourage smart choices that embrace alternative energy projects, while bringing our small businesses and farming industries into a more competitive position.”

Additionally, by funding projects that improve energy efficiency, these grants can be extremely valuable in helping to cut operating costs,” said Longietti.

Longietti noted that last year, around 200 small businesses and farms across the commonwealth were awarded more than $947,000 in grant funding for their projects. Natural resource protection projects may include planting riparian buffers, installation of streambank fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and investing in agricultural stormwater management projects, with the goal of reducing waterway sediment and nutrient loads. 

He added that because the grants are non-competitive and awarded on a first-come basis, it’s important for anyone interested to submit an application as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until fiscal year 2019-20 funds are exhausted or April 12, 2020, whichever occurs first.

Pennsylvania small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption or pollution-related expenses.

Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $7,000 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution-prevention equipment or processes. Only costs incurred between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, are eligible.

More information about the Small Business Advantage Grant program is available by clicking here