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Sen. Yudichak Reports

Flood Loan Program Now Revolving Loan Program for Luzerne County

MetroActionAfter flooding devastated our area in September of 2011, many wondered whether our affected small businesses and our communities would be able to recover. Thanks to hard-work, community pride and the success of the Luzerne County Flood Recovery Loan Program -- our flood affected families and small businesses are getting back on their feet.

The Luzerne County Flood Recovery Loan Program offered by MetroAction -- a nonprofit community development organization and an affiliate of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce -- provided 22 flood-damaged businesses with loans amounting to $1.67 million. These loans directly created or retained roughly 200 jobs in our area -- jobs that are especially essential in a region with the highest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth.

With more than $2 million remaining in the fund, the program has now transitioned into the Luzerne County Small Business Loan Program -- which offers Luzerne County business loans of up to $100,000 to be used for working capital, real estate acquisition and construction, equipment purchases and upgrades, environmental compliance, and pollution control and prevention. To be eligible for a loan, businesses must be located within Luzerne County and the borrower must have a credit score of 500 or higher. For more information, or to apply for a loan through the Luzerne County Small Business Loan Program, click here.

This loan program is a great opportunity for local businesses and it is my hope that the additional capital made available will help these businesses create more jobs for area residents.

DCED Lowers Interest Rates in Five Business Loan Programs

DCEDThe Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) recently announced lower interest rates for five business loan programs to encourage new economic growth and job creation. The slashed rates are one of the key recommendations made in a report by the Governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council -- which outlined 15 key recommendations, including the need to improve access to capital for Pennsylvania businesses.

DCED lowered the interest rates for the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund, the Small Business First Program, the Pollution Prevention Assistance Program and the Export Financing Program from 2.75 percent to 1.50 percent. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) approved lowering its interest rates to 1.50 percent. PIDA and DCED will also waive its fees charged to the borrowers. The new rates will initially be in place for applications received through March 31, 2013.

Committee Assignments Announced for 2012-13 Legislative Session

Sen. YudichakI am pleased to announce that I have been appointed to several key Senate committees for the 2012-13 legislative session.

Most notably, I have been reappointed as the Democratic Chairman to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and I will also have a seat on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee this session.

The Appropriations Committee -- one of the most influential committees in the General Assembly -- is responsible for determining how state dollars are allocated. With the governor's budget address due in less than a month, the Appropriations Committee will sift through the rhetoric and begin work on a delivering an on-time 2012-13 state budget that is fiscally responsible and meets the needs of all of our citizens.

Additionally, I have also been tapped to serve on the Senate Aging & Youth and the Senate Local Government Committees for this upcoming session. All four of my committee appointments will allow our district to have a strong voice on many of the most critical issues that are poised to come before the Senate over the next two years. I look forward to getting to work for the people of the 14th District.

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For updates on this and other legislative initiatives, stay in touch with me on the Internet through my website or on Facebook and Twitter.

 
June 22, 2011 - Senate Democrats to Discuss Marcellus Shale Fee Amendment June 26, 2011 - Senate and House Democrats joined today to urge Republican leaders to “do the right thing” and pass a responsible severance fee on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.