Pennsylvania First Program (PA First)

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Program Type:

Grant; Loan; Loan Guarantee

Eligible Geography:

Pennsylvania

Summary:

The Pennsylvania First Program may provide grants, loans and loan guarantees to facilitate increased investment and job creation within the Commonwealth. It's objective is to facilitate increased investment and job creation within the Commonwealth. Funds will be awarded through the Pennsylvania First Program on a competitive basis. The higher the private investment as compared to the funding assistance requested the more competitive the project.

The base pay of an employee hired or retained by the business must be at least 150% of federal minimum wage in order for the employee to be counted toward meeting the employment requirement. Businesses receiving Pennsylvania First Program assistance must commit to operating at the approved project site for a minimum period of eight (8) years. The maximum assistance amount shall not exceed $5,000 for each job projected to be created or retained. The Department has discretion to modify this amount for special circumstances.

Eligible Recipients:

For-Profit Business; Local Government; Non-Profit Organization

Eligible Recipients Detail:

Businesses, Municipalities, Municipal Authorities, Redevelopment Authorities, Industrial Development Authorities or Corporations, Local Development Districts

Eligible Purpose:

General Infrastructure (Attached to Job Creation); Last Mile Connectivity; Building Connectivity; Broadband Enabled Devices (General); Broadband Deployment Planning/Feasibility Studies

Eligible Purpose Detail:

All costs financed through the Pennsylvania First Program must be necessary for the operation of an eligible business or businesses at a project site(s) in the commonwealth. Specifically funds may be used for:
-Job training for direct full-time commonwealth resident employees of the applicant/business.
-Acquisition of land buildings or rights-of-way.
-Construction or rehabilitation of buildings.
-Construction or rehabilitation of infrastructure necessary for the operation of an eligible business or businesses at a project site not to include tap-in fees.
-Purchase or upgrade of machinery and equipment and other working capital.
-Project site preparation including demolition and clearance.
-Environmental assessments.
-Remediation of hazardous material.

Architectural and engineering fees are not to exceed 10% of the total Pennsylvania First Program award.

Other Eligibility Criteria:

Businesses must achieve one of the following standards within three years of receiving Pennsylvania First Program funding: (1) create or retain a minimum of 100 full-time jobs at the project site; (2) increase their full-time employment within the commonwealth by at least 20%; (3) provide a substantial number of new full-time employment opportunities within a high-growth industry; or (4) create or retain fewer than 100 full-time jobs at project sites that are located in counties or communities suffering from high unemployment. Businesses must also maintain the jobs retained and created for an additional two years.

Funding Match/Terms:

Each annual Pennsylvania First Program appropriation must leverage at least $10 in private investment for every $1 of program assistance awarded.

The interest rate for loans shall be set quarterly based on the 10-year Treasury rate. Loan terms will not exceed 15 years for real estate and infrastructure or 10 years for machinery and equipment. There is a 1% commitment fee on all approved loans.