Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PRESS RELEASE – April 7, 2010) — More than 200 small businesses in Pennsylvania will cut nearly $2 million in expenses from their bottom lines each year with the help of Small Business Advantage Grants that Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today.
The Governor called the grants a sound investment in Pennsylvania’s economy because the first year savings alone-which will also recur in subsequent years-exceed the $1.2 million in grants that were awarded this round.
“During these tough economic times, businesses are looking to reduce their operating costs and increase profitability,” said Governor Rendell. “Well-designed pollution prevention and energy efficiency projects can help businesses operate more efficiently and save money. The grants I am announcing today will help small business owners who recognize these opportunities and who are willing to take action to realize the resulting benefits.”
Pennsylvania’s Small Business Advantage Program provides small businesses (those with fewer than 100 employees) with 50 percent matching reimbursement grants of up to $7,500 to implement projects that will save at least 20 percent annually in pollution prevention or energy-related costs. The grants were awarded to 202 businesses in 52 counties on a first come, first served basis. Those businesses employ more than 4,000 people.
Examples of eligible projects include HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units that help large trucks reduce time spent with idling engines.
The projects will generate a combined annual energy and pollution-related savings the first year of more than $1.8 million, an average of nearly $9,000 per business. The state funds will leverage an additional $3.4 million in private investments through the projects.
“The success of our small businesses plays a major role in Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Governor Rendell. “However, actions such as replacing old light fixtures with more energy efficient ones can be a big financial hardship for some businesses. Since we initiated the Small Business Advantage program in 2004, the commonwealth has invested more than $6.1 million to help 1,130 businesses save energy and money, boost our economy, cut pollution and make the environment cleaner and safer for all of us.”
The Small Business Advantage Grant program is one of several initiatives Governor Rendell developed to assist small business owners in the commonwealth. The Alternative Energy Investment Act he signed into law in July 2008 created the PA Sunshine Solar program, which reimburses homeowners and small business owners up to 35 percent of the purchase and installation costs of solar energy technology. To date, more than $44 million has been allocated to 376 small businesses to install nearly 36 megawatts of solar electric capacity, or enough to power 4,320 homes. That level of solar-generated electricity production is enough to offset more than 34,000 tons of carbon dioxide, which would be like removing nearly 6,000 passenger vehicles from the road.
In November, the Department of Environmental Protection also awarded $2.3 million in Small Business Energy Efficiency Grants through the alternative energy fund to 218 businesses that acquire equipment or adopt processes to promote energy efficiency. Those projects are expected to generate more than $2.2 million in savings the first year.
For more information, and to view the list of Small Business Advantage Grant recipients, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: SBAdvantage