WEST CHESTER − August 26, 2021 – Small businesses and farmers who want to improve their operations through energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and natural resource protection can apply now for up to $5,000 in state grant funding, state Senator Carolyn Comitta said.
Applications are now open for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Small Business Advantage Grant Program. One million dollars in total grant funding is available for eligible projects like HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency LED lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, auxiliary power units that eliminate truck engine idling, and other projects that reduce energy use.
Grant funding also supports streambank buffers, fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and other agricultural stormwater runoff management projects that reduce sediment and nutrient pollution in local waters.
“Small businesses and farmers can take a leading role in the shift to energy efficiency and pollution reduction while streamlining their operations, reducing expenses, and boosting their bottom lines,” Comitta, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said. “These grants can help small businesses pursue projects that enhance both sustainability and profitability in communities across our Commonwealth.”
“Many small business owners with an innovative mindset see the economic opportunity in energy efficiency and sustainability. DEP is committed to assisting small business owners and small farmers in Pennsylvania who want to improve their operations, reduce operating costs, and increase profitability, while helping to improve the natural resources all Pennsylvanians depend on,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
The Small Business Advantage Grant provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $5,000 for Pennsylvania-based businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees. Eligible applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and must save the small business a minimum of $500 and at least 25% annually in energy consumption or pollution prevention-related expenses (Natural Resource Protection projects are exempt). Extra consideration is given to those in Environmental Justice areas. Information on how to apply is available at www.dep.pa.gov/smallbusinessadvantagegrants.
Last year, 212 small businesses and farms statewide received more than $950,000 in total Small Business Advantage Grant funding. Their projects saved over 6.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity, reduced diesel fuel use by over 20,000 gallons, eliminated almost 73 tons of coal use, prevented over 200,000 pounds of sediment and 7,000 pounds of nitrogen from entering waterways, and had other positive impacts on the environment.
Past recipients in Chester County have utilized the grant funding to upgrade lighting, HVAC systems, replace oil-fired burners with high-efficiency gas-fired burners, and install tankless water heaters.
The Small Business Advantage Grants program is funded through the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act of 1988.