Pennsylvania awards $246M in American Rescue Plan funds to support small businesses, job creation

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that his state had awarded $246.8 million in American Rescue Plan funding to local economic development partners to support small businesses and spur job creation.

The money, part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), would allow economic development partners to make direct equity investments and loans to small businesses across the commonwealth.

“The dollars awarded today will help businesses that are small, socially and economically disadvantaged, and those in the innovation and technology sector grow and thrive,” said Gov. Wolf. “This funding aligns perfectly with my continued commitment to support businesses in Pennsylvania.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to eligible economic development partners who will administer the funds to qualifying businesses.

Wolf’s office said the funding was distributed equitably across the commonwealth and considered population data and the organizations serving each county. The goal, his office said, was to ensure that eligible businesses in the state’s 67 counties would have access to loans and equity investments.

Nearly $123 million was awarded in Direct Venture Investments, including nearly $19.7 million each to Ben Franklin Technology Partners in Central & Northern Pennsylvania, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Innovation Works, and more than $14.7 million each to BioAdvance (Biotechnology Greenhouse Corporation of Southeastern Pennsylvania), LifeX Greenhouses, Inc. and Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania.

Direct Venture Investments provide funding to economic development organizations for seed and later-stage capital for existing and emerging companies involved in developing and commercializing technologically advanced products and processes.

The awards also provided more than $123.8 million in Revolving Loan Funds to provide funds for economic development organizations to capitalize on revolving loans for small businesses.