WEST CHESTER (July 26, 2019) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that $1 million in total grant funding is available for farmers and small-business owners who take on pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and natural resource protection projects through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Small Business Advantage Grant Program,

In addition, new to the program this year is the opportunity for small business owners to install solar hot water systems for their business operations.

“This program helps small businesses make smart choices when it comes to both benefitting the environment and bolstering their bottom lines,” Dinniman said. “And now, it’s been expanded to support solar energy to help businesses cut costs, reduce greenhouse gases, and embrace clean and sustainable energy sources.”

Eligible projects are those that adopt or acquire equipment or processes that reduce energy use or pollution. Examples of eligible projects are HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks.

Natural resource protection projects include the opportunity to plant riparian buffers, install streambank fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and agricultural stormwater management projects, with the goal of reducing sediment and nutrient loads in our waterways.

Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching grants of up to $7,000 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes.

Applicants must be a for-profit corporation, LLC, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity with 100 or fewer full-time employees based in Pennsylvania. The grant-supported project must be located in Pennsylvania.

Eligible projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and at least 25 percent annually in energy consumption or pollution prevention related expenses. Only costs incurred between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, are eligible.

Eligible applications will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted or on April 12, 2020, whichever comes first.

Last year, about 200 small businesses were awarded a total of more than $947,000 for rt pollution prevention and energy-efficient upgrades.

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 program is funded by the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.

All applications must be submitted through the commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance website. Printed, faxed, and mailed applications are not accepted.

The complete grant application package, which includes step-by-step instructions and instructional videos for completing the online application, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office website.

The Small Business Ombudsman’s Office will conduct an instructional webinar on Tuesday, July 30, at 11:00 AM. The webinar will review the guidelines for the 2019-20 grant year. Applicants and contractors are encouraged to participate. To join the webinar, click here.  If you have Skype, click on “Join with Skype for Business (desktop)”.  If you do not have Skype, click on “Install and join with Skype Meetings App (web)” to run a temporary web application.

To participate via audio only, call 267-332-8737, and use conference ID number 4410 1371#.

To contact the Small Business Ombudsman’s Office, call 717-772-5160 or email epadvantagegtrant@pa.gov.