PHILADELPHIA—Fifty-four small businesses in the Commonwealth are becoming greener this year, thanks to help from the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center’s Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The DEP recently announced the first wave of 2008 winners of its popular Small Business Advantage Grant (SBAG) program, which offers small businesses up to $7,500 on a 50 percent cost-share basis to implement projects to increase energy efficiency and decrease pollution. Of the $553,000 awarded to 94 businesses in this round of distribution, EMAP consultants helped 54 obtain just over $300,000 for projects as diverse as heating and cooling system upgrades, energy efficient lighting installations, high efficiency machinery and geothermal heating and cooling systems to conserve energy.
“In tough economic times, the best way for a business owner to make money is often by saving money” Christopher Lynch, Director of the SBDC Environmental Management Assistance Program said. “At a time when rising energy costs have everyone looking for opportunities to squeeze the waste out of their energy bills, the Advantage Grant program helps small companies invest in efficiency projects for which they might otherwise lack the up-front capital.”
"Small businesses across the state are bracing for high heating costs this winter as they try to cope with the current international financial crisis," Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell said. "Companies that invest in equipment to reduce their energy costs or cut waste will be better positioned to compete and succeed in this difficult environment. The Small Business Advantage grants help businesses adopt innovative technologies and processes that will improve their bottom line and protect our environment."
The funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis and closes more quickly each year due to increased popularity. EMAP consultants work with their clients to identify viable projects and submit applications quickly, and in each year since the grant program began, have helped increasing numbers of clients obtain funding. This year, client awardees ranged from restaurants to retail stores, laundromats, grocery stores, auto shops and hardware stores.
The full amount of the SBAG awards will total $1M, with the remaining grant awards to be announced over the next few months.
More about SBAG
Small Business Advantage is a grant program providing 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,500.00, to enable a Pennsylvania small business to adopt or acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes.