HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell announced that the state issued $521,000 in grants this month, helping 89 small businesses incorporate equipment that will improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution. Four drycleaning plants and 12 coin-op laundries took advantage of the 50% matching grants.
“Energy prices are going up, and that can have a drastic impact on the bottom lines of small businesses,” says Gov. Rendell. “Conserving energy and reducing pollution makes sense not only for the environment, but also economically. We’re announcing our investment in these 89 innovative companies because they have recognized that truth and are investing in their future.
“Beyond the financial benefits of reducing energy consumption, conserving and being more efficient in our usage affects our national security and way of life,” he adds. “By reducing our dependence on foreign fuels, we’re keeping more of our energy dollars here at home, rather than sending them abroad to oil-rich nations that are often hostile to America’s interests.”
The Small Business Advantage Grants program offers 50% matching grants up to $7,500 for equipment or processes that reduce energy consumption, prevent pollution and increase profits. High-efficiency heating and cooling systems, energy-efficient lighting and additional equipment are eligible for assistance.
The drycleaners awarded grants comprise National Cleaners and Brite Cleaners, which received $7,500 each to help purchase high-efficiency boilers; Norge Village Dry Cleaners, which received $7,500 to buy high-efficiency shirt-finishing equipment; and Village Cleaners, which accepted $3,500 in funds dedicated to a heat-economizing unit. The 12 coin-ops won grants for a variety of energy-efficient equipment, including washers, dryers and boilers.
Since Governor Rendell launched the program in 2004, the state has awarded more than $3.3 million to almost 600 businesses. The program is part of his Energy Independence Strategy, which seeks to help businesses and homeowners cut up to $1 billion per year from their power bills in the next decade.
Small Business Advantage grants are open to all small businesses located in Pennsylvania. An eligible applicant must be a for-profit enterprise, a legal business entity, and have no more than 100 employees at the time the application is submitted. For information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us.