Economic Development Resources
Welcome to the Economic Development Resources page, below you will find descriptions and links to different agencies that can offer beneficial services as you begin to expand your company. These are the types of companies that can help you turn your company into a sucessful business in a very competitive market.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Contact: Jim Kosco, Director of R & D
BFTP provides funding assistance to help small to medium sized manufacturing and tech-based companies develop new innovative products, processes and technologies. BFTP provides matching funds for a project with a minimum match of 1:1. BFTP will invest in direct costs of development including salaries, consultants, sub-contractors and materials.
Ben Franklin Venture Investment Forum
Contact: Jill Edwards, Executive Director
Ben Franklin Venture Investment Forum provides training to high-growth PA entrepreneurs to help them become attractive business opportunities to investors, both in seminar format and in one-on-one coaching for investor presentations.
BFVIF also makes introductions of entrepreneurs to angel investors in PA.
Contact: Stephen Curcio, Specialist
CareerLink® provides low or no cost services to employers in Erie County, Pennsylvania. CareerLink® acts much like an employment agency with greater flexibility and lower costs for employers.
- Access to online database of job seekers
- Posting of open positions on website
- Access to interviewing and conference rooms
- Assistance with labor law compliance
- Training funds for new hires
City of Erie (Department of Economic & Community Development)
Contact: Christopher Groner, KOZ & Enterprise Zone Coordinator
This department of the city government manages the Enterprise and Keystone Opportunity Zones, Community Development Block Grant Funding, and the LERTA programs within City limits. The City of Erie’s DCED also manages the Enterprise Zone Revolving Loan Fund. This loan will assist an eligible company with purchases of buildings or equipment within the City Limits. Loan amount is up to 50% of project cost to a maximum of $250,000.
Clarion County Economic Development Corporation
Contact: Jamie LeFever, Executive Director
The Clarion County Economic Development Corporation exists to help cash importing businesses to come, to start-up, to grow, and to stay in Clarion County, PA. CCEDC works with these businesses to identify resource needs and to successfully access entrepreneurial, land/building, technology, capital, and workforce resources. Clarion County has two business parks that offer the tax abatement and incentive advantages of the Keystone Opportunity Zone program plus easy access to I-80. Make the Clarion Call to CCEDC for your business development needs.
Clarion University Small Business Development Center
Telephone: 814-393-2060 or toll free (877) 292-1843
Contact: Dr. Kevin J. Roth, Director
The Clarion University SBDC is an entrepreneurial training program that services pre-venture and existing small businesses by helping them compete and grow in today’s highly competitive global economy. Our center serves entrepreneurs and small firms in Armstrong, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, and Venango Counties looking to start or grow a small business. From helping aspiring entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses, to helping small firms expand, to providing the information every business person needs to make critical decisions, the SBDC is the resource entrepreneurs in all industry sectors can turn to for help that can make the difference between success and failure.
Economic Development Corporation of Erie County (EDCEC)
Contact: John Elliott, President and CEO
The EDCEC is the main economic development agency in Erie County, PA in regards to a broad range of economic development services. It is the Mission of the Economic Development Corporation of Erie County to facilitate the creation of new jobs and wealth by providing technical assistance, financing and real estate programs to organizations that can be engines for economic growth and community prosperity.
In order to carry out this mission, EDCEC provides staff for and oversees the following economic development agencies in Erie County:
- Greater Erie Industrial Devolvement Corporation (GEIDC)
- Develops industrial land at a reasonable cost
- Administers the PA Land Recycling Program for brownfield redevelopment projects, including site assessments and remediation of environmental contamination
- EIDCO, Inc.
- Provides long term, low interest real estate financing in partnership with the PA Industrial Development Authority (PIDA)
- Erie County General Authority (ECGA)
- Acquires, leases, finances, or improves property in pursuit of community and economic development opportunities for non-profit organizations
- Erie County Industrial Development Authority (ECIDA)
- Administers financing programs, such as industrial revenue bonds, for new or expanding businesses in Erie County
- Enterprise Development Fund of Erie County, Inc. (FUND)
- Administers a low interest revolving loan fund to provide “gap” loan to young companies to assist in securing other financing
- Enterprise Development Center of Erie County, Inc. (CENTER)
- Operates an incubator facility that provides space, shared services, and other support for new “home grown” companies
- Erie County Community services Financing Authority (ECCSFA)
- Provides financing to 501c3 not for profit agency projects
Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County
Telephone: 814-333-2299, extension 225
Contact: Deana Burge, Deputy Executive Director
Not-for-profit economic development organization
Erie County Redevelopment Authority/Corry Area Industrial Development Corporation
Contact: Rick Novotny, Executive Director
In addition to serving the whole of Erie County as the redevelopment authority, this organization administers and provides staff for The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Corry, Corry Industrial Benefit Association, and Corry Community Development Corporation.
Services and Programs for Erie County:
- Erie Countywide Enterprise Zone provides incentives and other assistance to encourage business growth and investment in target areas of Erie County
- Financing for 30% of a project up to $250,000
- PA C-Corporations can receive up to 20% credit on corporate net income taxes
- Erie County Revolving Loan Fund
- Assists an eligible company with purchases of buildings or equipment within Erie County. Loan amount is up to 50% of project cost to a maximum of $250,000
Services and Programs specific to the Corry Area:
- Manages the Corry Area Enterprise Zones consisting of two townships and one City
- LERTA: Taxes assessed on improvements made to property within the zone may be abated for a period of up to 5 years
- The Corry area Incubators offer low cost, flexible leases, including established entry and exit procedures, and business development services, including physical, financial, and management assistance.
- The Corry Industrial Park consists of 180 Acres of land on Sciota Street and Plastics Road
Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership
Contact: Jake Rouch
The Economic Development Division of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership is dedicated to business attraction and helping current businesses expand and prosper. Five key components include coordinating the region’s Tap Into Erie business attraction efforts, The Business Retention and Expansion Program (BREP), Workforce Development Recruitment and Training Assistance for businesses, the Lead Economic Development Team and Tap Into Manufacturing, a lead generation & cooperative marketing partnership for manufacturers in the region.
Gannon Small Business Development Center
Contact: Jefferey D. Corcoran, Director
The Gannon SBDC provides a myriad of low to no cost services to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Services include business plan creation and management, strategic planning, market research, environmental compliance assistance, import/export assistance, and much more.
Governor’s Action Team (GAT)
Contact: Katie Newcombe, Northwest Regional Director
GAT provides low interest loan and grant funding to businesses in Pennsylvania that will create a significant economic impact through expansion or relocation in PA communities. The GAT reports directly to Governor Rendell. The GAT typically works with larger scale projects including multi-million dollar expansions and/or the addition of 20 or more family sustaining jobs.
Green Building Alliance
Contact: Mike Schiller, CEO
Green Building Alliance is a nonprofit organization that advances economic prosperity and human
well being in Western Pennsylvania by driving market demand for green buildings and green building
products across every aspect of the built environment.
Greenville-Reynolds Development Corporation
Contact: Bradley R. Gosser, Executive Director/Vice President
Greenville-Reynolds Development Corporation owns and operates three industrial parks in Northern Mercer County. The Corporation began when a handful of Greenville Businessmen bought what was known as Camp Reynolds (from the U S Army), which was a weigh station for soldiers before being deployed to Europe during World War II. The gentlemen purchased the camp and used some of the barracks as business sites to employ returning veterans in addition to building housing units for the men and their families.
Greenville-Reynolds staff assists businesses in obtaining low-interest loans through local and statewide lending institutions. In addition, there are numerous buildings in the Parks available for sale and / or lease.
Greenville-Reynolds Development Corporation’s mission statement as stated in its By-Laws is:
- To promote the social and civic welfare of the communities located in the Greenville-Reynolds area trading district
- To seek and locate businesses and industries of any kind within this district
- To assist and encourage the stabilization, expansion, and/or the retention of existing businesses and industries within this district
- To receive, hold, and expend monies, properties, or services necessary to facilitate the above state purposes
- To perform all other services or activities for any reason incidental to any of the foregoing purposes including the management of the assets of the present Greenville-Reynolds Development
- To cause to be operated and maintained, the Reynolds Disposal Company and the Reynolds Water Company in suitable condition to meet all Public Utility Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, and Environmental Protection Agency requirements and to service the industrial and residential customers within their respective area
- To develop and dispose of land for commercial, residential, civic and social purposes
Meadville Redevelopment Authority
Contact: Jill Withey
RDA's activities cover four areas:
Economic Development Fund- RDA is responsible for administering the French Creek Valley Enterprise Zone loan fund, a $4 million low-interest revolving loan fund that was established in 1995 to create and retain jobs in the City. RDA also administers a revolving loan fund for small and emerging businesses within the city limits
Redevelopment Projects - RDA coordinates comprehensive plans with the City of Meadville and conducts economic feasibility studies to leverage City resources for redevelopment projects to benefit the local tax base.
Tax Increment Financing - The RDA manages tax diversion plans to finance public infrastructure improvements that allow redevelopment activities to take place.
Neighborhood Redevelopment - The RDA also aids in other initiatives with financing, business development, master planning and reclamation activities.
Northwest Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC)
Contact: Ron May, Director, Operations and IT Administration
The NWIRC offers a wide array of low to no cost assistance to small manufacturing companies in Northwest PA. To qualify for NWIRC programs a company must have less than 500 employees and have a SIC code between 2000 and 3999. A small sampling of services that the NWIRC can offer manufacturers includes:
- Design and implement employee training programs
- Customized Job Training (CJT) grants for incumbent workers and new hires
- Quality control/ISO training
- Lean manufacturing training
- IT services including ERP and MRP Integration
Northwest Pennsylvania Workforce Investment (NWPAWIB)
Contact: Michele Zieziula, Chief Executive Officer
The NWPAWIB is the funding source for most of the workforce training initiatives in Erie County, including the Erie CareerLink. The vision of the NWPAWIB is to help connect people with jobs by improving workforce development in the Northwest PA region striving to achieve a dynamic workforce by focusing on efforts on customer service and strong partnerships with the economic development, business, education, and government sectors.
Northwest Regional Planning and Development Commission (Northwest Commission)
Contact: Jill Foys, Executive Director
The mission of the Northwest Commission is to expand the employment base, improve the quality of life, and improve business opportunities for the 8 county region of Northwestern Pennsylvania. The Northwest Commission offers many low or no cost services to companies of all types, including the following:
- International Marketing: Export readiness assistance, target market research and identification, market entry strategy development, etc
- Government Contracting: provides assistance with securing state and federal government contracts, and receiving bid leads from government agencies including the military, NASA, etc
- Financing Programs: The Commission offers a number of loan programs for existing and start-up small businesses that may not qualify for the other government loan funds.
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
Contact: Jack Hewitt, Administrator
Serving businesses and employers who have staff with impediments to employment via a disability. Assistance includes: ability to perform workplace accommodations, screen qualified candidates, and provide a wide range of services directed toward obtaining or retaining employment. In addition, an ability to subsidize wages of trained candidates for perspective positions.
Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP)
Contact: Heather Fennessey, PE, Director
PennTAP is a Penn State University program that is designed to help PA businesses address technology based issues. Penntap’s services are free to business located within PA. Penntap can provide the following assistance to PA businesses:
- Environmental Assistance
- Food Industry Assistance
- Forest Products Assistance
- Information Technology/e-Business Assistance
- NASA Technology Transfer Assistance
- Occupational Safety and Health Assistance
- Product Development Assistance
- Statistical Data and Analyses
Penn State Erie Center for Corporate and Continuing Education
Contact: Margaret McCarthy, Director
This organization develops and implements training programs covering a wide variety of subjects for businesses of all types in Northwestern PA including safety training, management training, succession planning, and much more. The Center for Corporate and Continuing Ed will help business apply for funding sources to cover portion of the training cost including WEDnet and CJT grants.
SCORE Erie Chapter 193
Contact: Tony Ciampa, Chapter Chairman
SCORE is a volunteer association of active and retired business persons. The Erie Area chapter has over fifty members who provide free and confidential counseling to small businesses anywhere in northwest Pennsylvania.
Contact: Dennis Robinson, Executive Director
This organization administers the SBA 504 loan program and the USDA Business and Industry Guaranty. The SBA 504 program can finance any for profit small business with a net worth less than $7.5 million. The USDA Guaranty is for any profit or non-profit business located in PA. This program will guaranty a certain percentage depending on amount of a loan secured through a bank by a PA business.
The Steel Valley Authority (SVA)
Contact: Thomas Croft, Executive Director
This organization works with companies throughout western Pa including Erie county through its Strategic Early Warning Network or SEWN. The goal of SEWN is to preserve companies and jobs in Western PA by helping to resolve problems before they reach crisis stage. The SVA provides no cost consulting services including Succession planning, labor/management relations, employee buyouts, and much more.
Technology Council of Northwest PA
Contact: Beth Zimmer, Interim CEO
The Technology Council is a non-profit association designed to support companies using technology to become globally competitive. We lead the development, use and growth of technology in a 10 county region. Our purpose is to save members time and money. Consider our member benefits, designed to save you money on health insurance, grant writing, training, networking, tax credit assistance, event planning, purchasing goods, payroll, life and disability insurance and internet solutions.
Titusville Redevelopment Authority
Telephone: 814 827-3668
Contact: James J. Becker, Executive Director
The Titusville Redevelopment Authority is here to help new businesses get started and old ones grow stronger. In addition to the low interest loan programs, the Authority offers assistance with business planning, marketing and general business consultation. Investing in industrial site infrastructure, identifying industry needs and making contacts with state and local service providers who arrange customized training and continuing education for the current work force are among the elements of its programs that have proven highly successful in stimulating economic growth and providing new jobs.
Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnet)
Contact: Tammy Beach, Interim Coordinator of Continuing Education
WEDnet is an employee training grant for Pennsylvania manufacturing and technology-based companies. For basic manufacturing skills, companies can fund up to $450 per employee for a max of $75,000 per fiscal year. Technology companies can fund up to $700 per employee for a max of $50,000 per fiscal year. For Erie County, the regional WEDnet partners are Edinboro and Clarion Universities.