On May 17th, a Small Business Resource Fair was held in Darlington Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, organized by the Shapiro Administration. The purpose of the event was to provide small businesses, farmers, and residents with information and resources to aid in the community’s recovery from the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
During the event, Lee Ann Briggs, an EMAP Environmental Consultant, highlighted the free and confidential small business environmental consulting services offered by EMAP. Attendees were also informed about the services provided by the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).
Prominent individuals present at the Small Business Resource Fair included Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, Acting Secretary Richard Negrin from the Pennsylvania DEP, Russell Redding from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Angel Marschik (Deputy District Director) from the SBA Pittsburgh District Office, and Samantha Harmon (Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Ombudsman).
GPS Metals, a small wholesale processor and broker of non-ferrous scrap metals from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, received the 2023 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award. This award showcases the accomplishments of a small business in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, sustainability, and mentoring.
“With EMAP’s help we were able to preserve 7 full-time, good paying jobs with benefits, and continue to contribute to the community by recycling metal products in a responsible manner.”
GPS Metals worked with EMAP to obtain the necessary air quality permits from the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), eliminate fugitive emissions from their wire chopping operation, then made modifications to eliminate and prevent stormwater runoff, and improved indoor air quality for their employees. In addition, GPS Metals reclaims over 2,400 tons of metallic material annually which diverts this waste from going to a landfill.
Keith Schultz of GPS Metals had this to say about the award:
“Lee Ann Briggs from the University of Pittsburgh, SBDC, made an overwhelmingly complicated process reasonably simple to complete with her help. She helped us navigate the permitting process with the ACHD, and made recommended best practices to be in, and maintain compliance with, DEP and ACHD regulations. She made multiple site visits to monitor our progress and amend applications as necessary. Without her help we would have had to expend much more time and effort to understand and navigate the process as we upgraded our dust control systems. Invaluable asset to the process. The fact that she nominated us for an award for our shared efforts was just a bonus validation for the steps we took.”
Under the Driving PA Forward program, for-profit small businesses may be eligible for rebates that install Level 2 electric vehicle charging equipment. The application period is currently open until funding runs out.
Eligible applicants include businesses that are legally incorporated in or registered to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Eligible locations include publicly accessible non-government owned property and workplace property where the charging stations can serve either employee and/or light duty fleet vehicles.
Program Overview and How to Apply
The following video is offered by Pennsylvania DEP and provides an overview of the Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Rebate Program and a walk-through of the electronic application process.
On July 7th, 2022, EMAP Program Manager, Jeremy Hancher, was reappointed to the Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee by Governor Tom Wolf for four years.
In this role as a committee member, Mr. Hancher helps review proposed and existing regulations and programs that may affect small businesses, assists to assure such regulations are written in clear and understandable terms, and advises DEP of the small business perspective on air quality issues.
Commenting on his reappointment Mr. Hancher noted the following, “It is with profound excitement to continue to serve on this very important committee and help be a voice for Pennsylvania small businesses. I am honored with the responsibilities bestowed by Governor Wolf to continue this service to the small businesses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
The Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee was mandated by the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and fulfills the federal mandate as outlined in Section 507 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
Meetings of the committee are held quarterly and are open to the public.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking for small businesses to participate on a panel that will focus on the development of a proposed rule that will focus on potential risks from existing chemicals. This rule will collect data in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation and risk management process.
To learn more about this opportunity please see this recently published press release by EPA.
Small business self-nominations may be submitted through this link and must be received by July 20, 2022.
The National Steering Committee (NSC) of Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) & Small Business Ombudsmen (SBO) have selected the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) of Widener University with the 2022 Small Business Environmental Assistance Program Excellence Award. This award category recognizes exemplary performance of a state SBEAP in the areas of compliance assistance, sustainability, advocacy, and collaboration at the national level. The SBEAP Excellence Award emphasizes program leadership where they have created resources and work products, promoted policy advancements, developed program innovations, and established new partnerships to build a strong network of small business assistance.
Since 1997, EMAP has provided free and confidential environmental technical assistance to the small business community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Headquartered at Widener University in the School of Business Administration on Widener’s main campus located in Chester, Pennsylvania, EMAP services are available throughout the entire network of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to any Pennsylvania small business seeking assistance with issues of air quality and environmental compliance.
The EMAP team, which includes Lee Ann Briggs, Jeremy Hancher, Charles Haney, and Carrie Wintersteen, was chosen by the SBEAP/SBO for their involvement and leadership with the National Steering Committee, the Technical and Annual Training Subcommittees, and the Environmental Justice Workgroup. In addition, EMAP was recognized for performing small business analyses on several Pennsylvania air quality rulemakings, for collaborating with the SBDCs and the Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Ombudsman to conduct in-person workshops and virtual webinars on environmental resources, and in partnering with other Pennsylvania stakeholder organizations and trade associations.
Since 2018, EMAP Program Manager Jeremy Hancher has served as an appointee from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee (SBCAC). This committee provides timely feedback on Pennsylvania air quality regulations and proposed rulemakings, environmental policies and programs, and represents the perspectives and challenges faced by Pennsylvania small businesses.
Dale Kaplan, owner of Kaplan’s Careful Cleaners and long-time Chair of the SBCAC, commented on EMAP services and having received the award by saying, “I have been with the DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee for 26 years and EMAP has stepped up to the plate, the whole team, along with the 16 SBDC universities across the state and have served small businesses in a way that is really phenomenal. You deserve what you are getting, thank you.”
Several EMAP small business clients have received National SBEAP small business awards of their own including Pennsylvania small businesses Abilene Boot Company in 2022, Dent Design Hardware in 2021, Gate 7 LLC in 2020, and Pik Rite, Inc. in 2017. During the COVID-19 pandemic, EMAP continued to be a reliable and steady presence to Pennsylvania small businesses needing environmental assistance and support. EMAP even pivoted during the early stages of COVID to utilize its connections within the Pennsylvania SBDC to provide firsthand knowledge of economic opportunities so that small businesses could access small business grants and low-interest loans related to COVID related shutdown orders.
Always looking to better assist Pennsylvania small businesses in any way they can, the EMAP team recently surveyed their small business clients that received technical assistance in 2021. One small business noted the following in the survey:
“I’ve worked with EMAP for many years. The services they provide to small businesses are exceptional. I have and will continue to work with and support EMAP and continue to recommend and refer them to others as well.”
The National Steering Committee (NSC) of the Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) & Small Business Ombudsmen (SBO) have recognized Abilene Boot Company with the 2022 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award.
This small boot manufacturer and EMAP client, Abilene Boot Company, based in Somerset, Pennsylvania, received this prestigious award for its accomplishments in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, and sustainability.
Abilene Boot was recognized for working with EMAP in evaluating the company’s air quality compliance for its operations. This includied reviewing their natural minor operating permit, looking at coating and adhesives usage, calculating their air quality emissions, and quantifying VOCs and HAPs for the small manufacturing operation.
This award was given to recognize service to the entire Pennsylvania SBDC network in a targeted service area. The Pennsylvania SBDC’s Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) was recently awarded the 2015 U.S. EPA Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Accomplishments by a Small Business Trade or State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider, thus making them the recipient of the Targeted Services Award.
The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)’s Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) was awarded the Fiscal Year 2015 U.S. EPA Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Accomplishments by a Small Business Trade or State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider. The award was presented on May 5, 2016 during the U.S. EPA Administrator’s 26th Annual Small Business Program Awards Ceremony. The event recognized various program activities, individuals, businesses, and state and local entities for their outstanding contributions in Fiscal Year 2015.
In the latest round of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Small Business Advantage Grants, 46 EMAP clients received grants totaling $272,740. These funds will go a long way to help these small businesses become more sustainable and reduce their operating costs.
Since DEP opened the Small Business Advantage Grant program in 2004, EMAP clients have received 235 grants for over $1.3 million in funds. The program provides grants of up to $7,500 for eligible projects to small businesses with a 50% cost share required.
For more information on the grant program, click here.
We’re very happy to announce that we’re launching a fresh, new look for the AskEMAP website.
Our primary goal was to improve the ability of our clients to find the information they were looking for, in a well-organized, user-friendly and attractive format. The new format streamlines our services and enhances our ability to educate our clients.
The site does a much better job of making information easily accessible, with
logical top navigation on the home page guiding people to the information they want/need: who we are, how we can help with compliance & energy efficiency questions; and
more logical and consistent layout of information throughout internal pages, allowing us to better present larger amounts of relevant information, call out helpful resources, incorporate images, and simplify the navigation for the reader. We’ve also enhanced the presence of our contact info and Waste Exchanges as well as provided more effective cross-referencing with state-wide services offered by the Pennsylvania SBDC.
There are a variety of new features:
There is now a true content-management-based search function for the site, to help clients find the exact topic they want, quickly.
Of particular note is the News section which now houses all of our EMAP in the News, Success Stories, News for Small Business, Press Releases, and EMAP in Action. This section can be searched by category, date, or relevant tags so clients or journalists can find stories based on topics they’re interested in.
We’ve added an RSS feed to the News section so journalists can opt to keep an eye on our latest and greatest, greatly enhancing the likelihood our stories will be published.
The updating/editing of this site is incredibly easy. While users won’t see that exactly, they will benefit from the increased speed with which information makes it onto the site, in a consistent and formulaic way across relevant sections.
Other behind-the-scenes enhancements have been made as well. The new site is optimized to make it easier for people coming from search engines like Google to find us. We’ve also taken great care to ensure that we’re adhering to current accessibility guidelines.
As newer browsers are more standards-compliant, we recommend that you visit our site with a current browser, such as:
Yellow Springs Farm promotes land stewardship through the propagation and sale of native plant species. The farm came to the Kutztown University SBDC with a broad vision of becoming energy efficient.
EMAP consultant Jeremy Hancher met with Al Renzi to discuss ways to improve energy efficiency while making upgrades to various buildings on the Farm. When Renzi brought up the possibility of using solar panels on the roof of his barn, Hancher worked with him to provide a complete financial analysis of a 4.9 Kilowatt (Kw) photovoltaic system. His report concluded that the electricity generated from the solar energy system would provide approximately 56 percent of total electricity use. Hancher also helped determine project costs and estimated the simple payback. He recommended Renzi applying for a Small Business Advantage Grant from the Pennsylvania DEP to help offset the initial costs and shorten the payback period. With EMAP assistance, Yellow Springs Farm applied for and received the full $7,500 requested. By implementing the solar project, the company will generate approximately 5,440 kWh “off the grid.” This will reduce electricity costs by nearly $780 per year, with a payback period of about 2-3 years.
More about the Pennsylvania SBDCs and EMAP
The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers’ Environmental Management Assistance Program assists firms with identifying environmental regulatory compliance requirements and supports the development of companies with new energy and environmental technologies. One-on-one consulting is available to help prepare and review proposals, find new commercial markets, identify potential sources of funding, and find potential project partners. Visit www.askemap.org for more information on how businesses can start saving money and contribute to a cleaner environment.
Since its inception in 1980, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) has evolved into a network of 18 college- and university-based centers and more than 90 outreach locations, operating under the guidance of the State Director located at the University of Pennsylvania. The SBDCs play a unique and vital role in the Commonwealth’s economic development initiatives as the only organization that, in utilizing the expertise and resources of some of the best colleges and universities in the state, assists entrepreneurs in all stages of business and all industry sectors. Funding support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the US Small Business Administration and the SBDC host institutions enables consulting services to be provided at no charge to the client. For more information on the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers’ services and impact, visit www.pasbdc.org.
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.
U.S. Department of Environmental ProtectionSmall Business Advantage Grant (SBAG)2008 SBAG Winners
Jeremy Hancher is the EMAP Program Manager located at the Widener University SBDC. He holds over 15 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental policy, and program management. He is proud to be the team lead of the award-winning EMAP program which provides free and confidential environmental assistance to the Pennsylvania small business community in fulfillment of the requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Section 507 of the federal Clean Air Act.
In 2015, Jeremy was part of the team effort when EMAP was recognized by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Outstanding Accomplishments by a State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider in Providing Technical Environmental Assistance to the Small Business Community. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate from the Wharton School.