HARRISBURG, Pa. — State investments are helping Pennsylvania small-business owners continue to lower their operating costs by conserving energy and reducing pollution, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Hanger says.
Ninety small businesses across the state will receive more than $560,000 in grants through the Small Business Advantage (SBA) program to reduce energy use and pollution, enabling them to become more competitive. Several drycleaners and self-service laundries are among the businesses receiving grants.
The program provides small businesses with fewer than 100 employees with 50% matching reimbursement grants of up to $7,500 to implement projects that will save at least 20% annually in pollution-prevention or energy-related costs. Since 2004, the Small Business Advantage Grant Program has invested $6.7 million in 1,220 small businesses.
The 90 projects in 40 counties will receive a total of $564,291 and leverage an additional $1.1 million in private investments. In the first year, the grants are expected to generate a cumulative savings of $521,782 in operating expenses related to reductions in energy and pollution.
Governor Ed Rendell has initiated several other programs to assist Pennsylvania small-business owners. The Alternative Energy Investment Act, signed into law in 2008, created the Small Business Energy Efficiency program, which provides a 25% reimbursement grant up to $25,000 to help small businesses acquire equipment or adopt processes that promote energy efficiency. The program has awarded $2.3 million to 214 small businesses to date.
Operators should check with their U.S. representatives and utility companies to see if any such programs exist in their states.