Pennysylvania Senator announces funding for small businesses and manufacturers

December 29, 2011

U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced that the Treasury Department has awarded $29.2 million to four economic development programs in Pennsylvania, according to a release from the lawmaker's office.

The money is expected to help create jobs in the region and will leverage $292 million in additional small business lending across Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvania’s small businesses and manufacturers need every resource possible to expand, create jobs and instill economic certainty in our communities," said Casey. "With the potential to create thousands of jobs in the Commonwealth, this program will boost small businesses and give hope to those looking for work."

Casey strongly supported the "Small Business Jobs Act of 2010," as this law authorized the funding that Pennsylvania received through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).

Last June, the Senator wrote to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner urging him to approve Pennsylvania's application for SSBCI funding. 

According to the release, Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development has selected four state programs to be recipients of the funding. The agencies are the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority, the Pennsylvania Community Development Bank, the Ben Franklin Partnership/Life Science Greenhouses and the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund.

"The combined programs support lending to small businesses and manufacturing, target needs of underserved businesses and industry," the Senator's office said in the release.

The Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund helps companies throughout the state receive low-interest loans to acquire and install new or used machinery and equipment or provide upgrades to existing products, according to the program's website.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the $29.2 million in funding for businesses in Pennsylvania was the direct result of a federal and state government partnership. A total of $11.2 million of this money will be allocated to economic, community and technology development agencies in the Philadelphia region.

"The [Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett] administration is committed to supporting our small businesses, and the best way to do that is by partnering with the private sector to maximize resources," C. Alan Walker, secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), told the newspaper.

According to the Inquirer, the DCED, after consulting with its development partners on the funding gaps that exist for businesses, determine that the best approach was to give a portion of the money to the four agencies. This may result in greater job creation and private investment in the state.