FIVE PROGRAMS that manufacturers need to know about...
If your company has a need – whether it be for a new hire, upgraded machinery, growing sales or building improvements – odds are a program exists to assist. Smart companies take advantage of government, non-profit and private programs – they're designed to do what's best for businesses.

1. Stormwater Management Service Credits Administered by: City of Philadelphia Water Department; Award type: Credit for fee charge The transition to parcel area-based stormwater charge will take effect beginning July, 2010. This means companies will be responsible for stormwater management costs directly related to their property, and can result in either a higher or lower water bill. For those finding there bills increasing, the Water Department has established a credit program for owners to reduce the charge; by implementing smart stormwater management practices, such as green roofs, porous paving and pervious barriers, property owners can mitigate stormwater and possibly provide substantial decreases in your water bill.

2. PECO Energy Savings and Rebates Administered by: PECO; Award type: Rebates, credits and business services Pennsylvania regulations on electricity are changing, which means uncertainty for energy rates. PECO is proving businesses an opportunity to mitigate any increases, while providing incentives for those adopting "cleaner" and more sustainable energy sources. PECO offers $300 rebates for switching to natural gas, credits for new equipment, and online tools for purchasing information. Also, new business services will work with your company and identify possible energy alternatives, calculate new costs, and explain upcoming changes to your billing.

3. Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund Administered by: Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; Award type: Low-interest loan One of many low-interest loan options from PIDC, the MELF provides funding for up to 50% of eligible costs or maximum $5 million (whichever is less). This loan can be used for machinery and equipment purchases, and each project must create one full-time job for every $25,000. Loan term is for 10 years, and companies must demonstrate sufficient cash flow to support debt service. PIDC requires a $500 application fee as well as other legal fees.

4. Small Business Advantage Grant Administered by: The PA Department of Environmental Protection; Award type: Matching grant This program provides a 50% matching share, for up to a possible $7,500 in funding, for projects that target energy efficiency and pollution prevention. The program provides capital your company needs to make your facility more sustainable – measures that typically save on energy costs. Examples of eligible projects include upgrading infrastructure, improving your building and using pollution-reducing equipment. Applications are due July 1st.

5. Mid Atlantic Trade Adjustment Assistance Center Administered by: Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms; Award type: Partnerships and grants This partnership is available to aide companies hurt by foreign imports. The MATAAC's programs provide grants for upgraded marketing, planning, export assistance and e-commerce upgrades, among other areas. Through this program a partnership is formed, providing unique coaching opportunities addressing marketing diversification, sales performance and leadership development. Qualification is determined by overseas competition's affect on your business. To apply is free but investments are shared, meaning companies will be required to provide some funding.
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