Legislation encourages capital investments, job creation

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The state House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would encourage capital investments.

House Bill 2783 would allow the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) to consider the level of capital investment a business is willing to bring to a project and the jobs the project will create when program eligibility and loan amounts are decided.

In addition, the bill would require payback if a business leaves Pennsylvania.

PIDA provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to businesses looking to expand or invest in Pennsylvania. Funding can be used to cover a portion of up-front costs for construction and renovation, purchasing machinery and equipment, and land and building purchases. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum number of new jobs will be created to be eligible.

“We need to make it abundantly clear that Pennsylvania is open for business,” said state Rep. Parke Wentling (R-Crawford/Erie/Lawrence/Mercer), who introduced the bill. “By modernizing government, we open the door for economic growth opportunities in the commonwealth.”

The bill is the response to a November House Majority Policy Committee hearing where testifiers stated Pennsylvania was struggling to compete for economic opportunities with Ohio.

The state needs policies that tell investors and searching businesses that Pennsylvania wants them, Wentling said.