Wilkes-Barre, July 15, 2016 – Calling it a good way to boost the state’s economic growth, State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) today praised an item in the new budget that makes state grant and loan dollars available for shovel-ready business expansion projects.
The measure, which was amended in the state’s fiscal code, funds the state’s “Business in Our Sites” (BIOS) program, which invests state dollars in shovel-ready sites to spur economic development. Yudichak said lawmakers were able to re-capitalize the program by transferring $75 million from the state’s “First Industries” and “Building PA” programs.
“The Business in Our Sites program will allow us to make significant new investments in efforts to grow businesses and create jobs,” said Senator Yudichak. “As I work with business leaders from throughout our region on innovative ways to diversify and build our economy, it is helpful when we have additional state resources available to strengthen our efforts.”
“CAN DO has successfully used the BIOS program for the development of several projects including the Humboldt Industrial Park North and Humboldt Station,” said W. Kevin O’Donnell, President of the industrial and economic development corporation serving Greater Hazleton. “As a direct result, millions of dollars of private investment was made and thousands of jobs created in Greater Hazleton.”
“In this fast paced, competitive business environment, the need for developed and shovel ready sites is greater than ever,” said Joseph Boylan, Vice President for Economic Development at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. “The BIOS program is a vital resource to attract companies and drive economic development in our region.”
Administered by the state’s Commonwealth Financing Agency, Business in our Sites grant awards are limited to 40 percent of the financing awarded, up to $4 million. The program provides grant and loan investments to current and emerging businesses interested in locating, expanding and developing business sites in Pennsylvania. Up to a third of the program’s money can be used to provide grants.
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