Incentives and Resources
Pennsylvania offers a variety of tax incentives, credits and programs to eligible projects that contribute to smart economic growth. Focus Central PA will work with your project team to connect with local, regional and state incentives and resources that can provide value for long term success.
Popular Pennsylvania Incentive Programs
Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ): The Keystone Opportunity Zones are a premier tax incentive providing companies and investors a unique opportunity to develop land with greatly reduced or eliminated state and local taxes for a certain period of time. These zones are a result of state and local taxing bodies, school districts, economic development agencies and community-based organizations identifying areas they want to attract investment and development too.
PA First Program (PA First): PA First is a comprehensive funding tool (grants, loans, loan guarantees) to facilitate increased investment and job creation within the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA): Provides low-interest loans and lines of credit for eligible businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs and for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities.
Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP): Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.
Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA): This program provides grant funding to qualified employers training for new and existing employees. The training allows companies to stay competitive while keeping employee skills current and relevant.
Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA): LERTA provides exemptions of taxes on improvements located in certain areas through Central Pennsylvania. Local taxing jurisdictions in Pennsylvania are permitted to exempt from real property taxation the assessed valuation of new construction in deteriorated areas or improvements to deteriorated industrial, commercial or other business property for up to ten years.
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC): ARC uses congressionally appropriated funds to invest in the Region’s economic and community development through grants. ARC is a federal-state partnership and the grant application process begins at the state government level. SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-Cog) administers ARC funds for the Central Region in Pennsylvania.
Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE): The Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) provides grants to construct the last few miles of natural gas distribution lines to business parks, existing manufacturing and industrial enterprises. The maximum grant amount of any Pipeline Investment Program project shall not exceed $1.5 million or 50% of the total project costs, whichever is less.
Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP): provides financial assistance for investment in rail freight infrastructure. The intent of the program is to: preserve essential rail freight service where economically feasible, and preserve or stimulate economic development through the generation of new or expanded rail freight service. The maximum state funding for a RFAP project is 70 percent of the total project costs, not to exceed $700,000.
Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP): Also known as Capital Budget, is available to applicants with a line item(s) in a Capital Budget Act. Applicants should contact their state representative or state senator to obtain a line item for their project. The maximum state funding for a RTAP project is 70 percent of the total project costs, not to exceed the amount of the line item.
The Department of Community and Economic Development’s mission is to encourage the shared prosperity of all Pennsylvanians by supporting good stewardship and sustainable development initiatives across the commonwealth. With a keen eye toward diversity and inclusiveness, they act as advisors and advocates, providing strategic technical assistance, training, and financial resources to help communities and industries flourish.
PPL Business Energy Efficiency Program – Boost bottom lines with energy savings. Provides programs and tools such as calculators for energy-saving resources.
SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) offers support services to businesses, communities and residents to enhance the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in 11 central Pennsylvania counties through partnerships and initiatives. SEDA-COG is an Area Loan Organization and a Certified Development Corporation operating in Central Pennsylvania that offers small businesses access to State and Federal loans including the SBA 504 Program. SEDA-COG also offers export and procurement support services.
USDA Rural Development supports rural prosperity in Pennsylvania by investing in modern infrastructure such as high-speed internet and water and waste treatment systems. Many programs are available including technical assistance for small business owners and entrepreneurs; programs for businesses and manufacturers to support expansion and improvements; energy programs that finance renewable systems for agriculture and industry and much more.
The Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) at Penn State is a federal, state, and University partnership to stimulate statewide economic development. PennTAPs statewide network of expert technical advisors focuses on helping Pennsylvania businesses through three primary areas of service: Energy and operational assessments, energy grants and rebates, and university engagement. Over the past five years, PennTAP has helped businesses reduce their energy costs by more than $8.6 million using these tools.
Innovative Manufacturers Center (IMC) is a public-private partnership dedicated to increasing Central Pennsylvania’s manufacturing community through innovation, productivity and profitable growth to drive economic impact. IMC offers a wide range of services including business growth and continuous improvement designed to help Central Pennsylvania manufacturers innovate and thrive.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a national leader in technology-based economic development provides critical funding, business and technical expertise, and access to a network of valuable resources that early-stage and established companies need to grow and succeed in the highly competitive worldwide marketplace. As a statewide initiative, Ben Franklin also leverages the excellence of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities and promotes greater collaboration among companies, academia, private investors, and government to build and development technology-based industries. Serving Central Pennsylvania are the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern PA.
Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) that assists energy users in overcoming educational, financial, and regulatory barriers to a sustainable energy future: a future in which energy is harvested, converted, distributed, and utilized in a manner that allows all to meet their energy needs now without compromising the ability of their children and grandchildren to meet their needs.
Investments in Caring PA is Pennsylvania’s resource for employers to assist their employees in finding access to quality care. This toolkit provides information for businesses, industries, and communities of all sizes to support working families to identify new or expanded ways to strengthen workforce and bottom lines.