Opportunity Zones provide federal tax benefits to investors who make equity investments from realized capital gains in qualifying development projects or businesses within low-income communities. Opportunity Funds are investment vehicles organized as a corporation or partnership for the purpose of investing in Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Funds can self-certify and must invest at least 90% of their capital in qualifying Opportunity Zone investments. Eligible investments in Opportunity Zones may include commercial real estate development and renovation, opening new businesses, and expansion of existing businesses. Investing realized capital gains into Opportunity Zones has many benefits for individual or corporate taxpayers, including:

  • Deferral of federal tax payment on initial capital gain until the earlier of the sale of the Opportunity Fund investment or December 31, 2026.
  • Partial exclusion from federal tax of the original capital gain through a step up in basis if the Opportunity Fund investment is held for 5 years (10%) or 7 years (15%).
  • Full exclusion from federal tax of any new capital gain if the Opportunity Fund investment is held for 10 years or more.

Central Pennsylvania Opportunity Zone approved census tracts are in Northumberland, Columbia, Montour and Centre counties. 

To view available sites and buildings in Opportunity Zones in Central Pennsylvania click here.  

To learn more and view a list of Pennsylvania Opportunity Zone census tracts click here.

The Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) is a premier tax incentive providing companies and investors a unique opportunity to develop land with greatly reduced state and local taxes, a result of partnerships among state and local taxing bodies, school districts, economic development agencies and community-based organizations. Providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop, construct or renovate properties throughout Central Pennsylvania, the Keystone Opportunity Zone program offers greatly reduced or completely eliminates state and local taxes. 

To learn more and view a list of KOZ designated properties in Central Pennsylvania click here.

The Governor’s Action Team is ready to assist you in implementing your business growth strategy. Take a closer look at Pennsylvania and give us a call at 717.787.8199, or click on the map below for contact information for professional staff in each of our regional offices and in our headquarters in Harrisburg.

Whether you are thinking about starting your own business, expanding your existing company, or are considering a move to the Keystone State, this site will provide useful information to help you work smart and live happy in Pennsylvania.

Founded in February of 2016, LaunchBox is a signature program of Invent Penn State, a Commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation, and student career success. Happy Valley LaunchBox is one of 17 innovation hubs across the Commonwealth.

The Office of Industrial Partnerships (OIP) fosters strategic relationships with industry partners and supports Penn State’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, accelerating the pace at which technologies move from discovery to implementation and delivering new-found value & differentiation to industry and economic impact to Pennsylvania and beyond. OIP works closely with the other units within the Office of the Vice President for Research to coordinate sponsored research, technical matchmaking, technology licensing, contracting, research compliance and new venture formation.

Local Chambers of Commerce are associations that promote and protect the interests of the business community, provide valuable business to business networking and work to promote the well-being and growth of commerce, business and industry, while striving to make there local communities a great place to live, work and conduct business. These organizations are also leading advocates for the business community working to shape policy and working collaboratively with local, county and state partners to bolster private industry.

Chamber of Business & Industry Centre County

Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau [Mifflin & Juniata Counties]

Central PA Chamber of Commerce

Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce

The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce

A sampling of some of the larger incentive programs offered by the state of Pennsylvania and Focus Region are summarized below.  Click on their headings to follow a hyperlink for more details and other available programs.  Please check back for additions and updates.


PA’s Capital Stock & Foreign Franchise Tax is officially history. Full story:

LERTA – Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA)

LERTA provides exemptions of taxes on improvements located in certain areas through Central Pennsylvania. For information on LERTA process and areas contact us at 844.293.8719. Under the Local Economic Revitalization Assistance Act (LERTA), 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


Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Credit
15% of net cost of alternative energy production. Limit of $1 million per taxpayer.

(Job Creation Tax Credit) – $1,000 to $3,000 per new job created, not available in a KOZ.

Elimination of Fixed-Wing Sales & Use Tax

Those in the aviation industry now have one more reason to do business in Pennsylvania. With the elimination of the six percent sales and use tax on parts and services for fixed-wing aircraft, sourcing maintenance, overhauls and repairs can all be performed tax-free in a state with prime access to six of the 10 largest markets in the U.S., six international airports and a strategic location in the Northeast U.S. corridor

MEDFAS is a group of Tax-Exempt Financing experts who are focused on educating and assisting companies that are interested in borrowing on a tax-exempt basis to fund expansion projects. They assist manufacturers in accessing some of the $90 Billion the U S Treasury sets aside to pay for a manufacturer interest expense to cover expansion projects. The Treasury pays up to 40% of your interest expense. A $10 million dollar loan using tax exempt financing could save a manufacturer over $2 million dollars.


Pennsylvania First Program

Rail Freight Grants and Resources

US Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA) Grants and Resources


(Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority Loan) 3.5%,  $35,000/job created, maximum of $2 million.  Eligibility varies by county and ranges from 50% to 60%.

(Machinery & Equipment Loan Fund) 3.5%, $25,000/job created, maximum of $5 million


WEDNET– Guaranteed Free Training
$450/employee for entry level training or $800/employee for information technology

(Customized Job Training) 75% of costs for job-specific training.

Focus Central Pennsylvania proudly partners with state, regional and local economic development, workforce development and other community partners to that provide strong support to existing and new businesses in Central Pennsylvania.

Business Assistance,
The Department of Community and Economic Development and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offer business assistance to help organizations fund their projects or start a business, find a location, expand their business, or stay in Pennsylvania.


  • SEDA-Council of Governments. Central Pennsylvania’s Local Development District can assist businesses with exporting, financing, procurement, and other business issues.
  • SEDA-Council of Governments Finance Department.
    SEDA-COG is an Area Loan Organization and a Certified Development Corporation operating in Central Pennsylvania. We can offer small businesses access to State and Federal loans including the SBA 504 Program.
  •  Small Business Administration 504 Program
    Up to $1.3 million in long-term fixed rate financing for the acquisition of machinery and equipment (10 years) and land and buildings (20 years).
    • Small Business First
      Funding for small businesses including low-interest loan financing for land and building acquisition and construction, machinery and equipment purchases and working capital.
    • USDA Intermediary Relending Program
      This program offers market financing for retail, service and industrial clients to finance the acquisition of assets, working capital and limited debt refinancing.
    • Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority
      Tax-exempt and taxable bonds, both in pooled transactions and stand-alone transactions, to be used to finance land, building, equipment, working capital and refinancings.
  • SEDA-Council of Governments Procurement Department.
    The Center’s services, resources and training programs can assist companies in either entering the government market place or expanding their current market share. Services are provided free of charge to companies in our 18-county service area.


Additional Regional Resources


  • Pennsylvania Material Trader is a free service designed to help businesses find markets for materials they have traditionally discarded. Material Trader helps businesses, industries, and institutions save resources and money because “one business’s trash is another business’s treasure.” Businesses, schools and other organizations can utilize Material Trader to search for available and wanted materials.
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners-Central and Northeastern PA
    Offers grants for research and development, technology transfer, joint research and development for businesses.
  • Industrial Modernization Center
    Connecting manufacturers to productivity, growth and innovation. Provides financial and technical assistance to manufacturers to improve their manufacturing operations. KIZ partners Penn College and Lycoming College, along with the City of Williamsport, the IMC, and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce to encourage business startups, technology transfer and product and process innovation in diversified manufacturing with a specific emphasis on plastics and wood industries.
  • Industrial Research Office
    The Industrial Research Office (IRO) assists companies in identifying and accessing Penn State faculty expertise and research centers, and works to foster university-industry research partnerships. Personal attention is given to company representatives to assess their technical needs and facilitate linkages to appropriate Penn State resources.
  • The Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania
    The Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania is a 100% member-funded, non-profit 501C(6) organization dedicated to the growth and success of the technology community within a 24+ county region of central Pennsylvania.
  • IT Kickstart Program
    Funded by the DCED and partnering with the Industrial Modernization Center and PennTap, the program covers 25 counties (including Central PA). This program provides grant dollars and Information Technology (IT) expertise to help local small to medium size businesses with less than 500 employees to get IT projects off the ground. Assistance with resources to develop web sites, apply relevant new IT and e-business tools, and implement new integrated software programs.
  • Central Pennsylvania Entrepreneurial Network
    The Central Pennsylvania Entrepreneurial Assistance Network has been developed to promote entrepreneurship and the services available to regional entrepreneurs in Central Pennsylvania.
  • Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation
    CPWDC governs workforce development policy for a nine-county region of Central Pennsylvania The agency for regional unification, coordination, integration and alignment of workforce activities, resources and initiatives to support economic sustainability, improve education systems and ensure a quality labor force in Central Pennsylvania.
  • Team Pennsylvania CareerLink
    Team Pennsylvania CareerLink is a cooperative effort to provide one-stop delivery of career services to job seekers, employers and other interested individuals. These services are also available at your local Pennsylvania CareerLink office or participating agency.

What is the Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) incentive?

The Keystone Opportunity Zone is unique opportunity to develop land with greatly reduced state and local taxes, a result of partnerships among state and local taxing bodies, school districts, economic development agencies and community-based organizations.