Governor Josh Shapiro Opens Application for Historically Disadvantaged Businesses

The program will provide grants to eligible small diverse businesses for working capital, inventory, equipment, safety and security equipment, marketing, and costs to support the ongoing operation of the business.

Grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 will be awarded to historically disadvantaged businesses that were in operation on or before March 17, 2020, and were impacted economically by COVID-19.

Historically disadvantaged businesses are defined through this program as minority businesses generating annual revenues of $1 million or less and employing fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees.

Additional program priorities are in place for small businesses located within low-income census tracts, high-crime municipalities, and are located in the following designated areas: Commercial Corridors (Philadelphia), Neighborhood Business Districts (Pittsburgh), Allegheny Together Communities (Allegheny County) and active Main Street Program areas (statewide).

All applications submitted between February 5 and February 23, 2024, will be considered for funding.

Read Governor Shapiro’s press release here.

To apply go:

2023 Small Business Advantage Grant

The 2023 Small Business Advantage Grant is now accepting applications for at least $1 million in available funds. This grant program is offered through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  The purpose of this grant is to provide small businesses in Pennsylvania with grant funds for projects that increase energy efficiency, reduce pollution, or protect our waterways. Many different types of small businesses, from manufacturing to retail to agriculture, may be eligible for funding under this program. Funding is awarded first-come, first served so interested applicants should act fast!

You are receiving this email because your agency, office or team may have clients, customers, or other constituencies that may be interested in applying for this funding. All program documents, including Program Guidelines and a Grant Calculator, are available on the Small Business Advantage Grant Website. There is also a link on the website to the online application system used to apply for the grant. Additionally, there are tutorial videos available for everything from an overview of the program to using the Grant Calculator for specific project types.

Maximum grant awards will vary based on the attributes of a project as shown in the chart below. Projects will be eligible for more funding if they are located in Environmental Justice areas or reduce CO2e by at least 20 tons (as calculated by the Grant Calculator). 

2024-2024 Funding Levels
Project AttributesWhichever is less, up to:
All Eligible Projects50%or$5,000
Eligible and located in Environmental Justice Area65%or$6,500
Eligible and significant environmental savings65%or$6,500
Eligible, located in Environmental Justice Area, and significant environmental savings80%or$8,000

Please share this information with your clients, customers, or other audiences. If you or they have any questions, feel free to contact me or my staff with any questions (Forest Edwards, 717-783-9640 or Caroline Zepp, 717-772-5160). You can also send an email to

The IGNITE TechCelerator Program Participants Present Insights

As the culmination of their ten-week participation in the TechCelerator at Lackawanna County Program, the principals of eight county based small businesses recently presented insights about their business plans. An enthusiastic audience of funders, coordinators, dignitaries, and supporters applauded the presentations at Penn State Scranton’s new Engineering Building, at the evening event. Each of the presenting small businesses received a $10,000 grant from the program sponsors to support their future growth.

The eight businesses are Babinski Co., Gamer Realities, Mass Layer, Neuralytics, McGowan Co., Sensify, Success Fundamentals, Sylf. Future products and services from these companies range from 3D printing services, a self-serve alcohol dispenser, video game production, educational podcasts, and more.

Bob Durkin, Greater Scranton Chamber President offered, “Partnering with the other sponsors for the TechCelerator program has extended our efforts to encourage and help develop local entrepreneurs through our Ignite program and moves those budding firms into our robust business development incubator sites.” Ken Okrepkie, Regional Manager of Ben Franklin Technology Partners added, “This first Lackawanna County TechCelerator program to assist early adapting entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into moldable businesses has been an unqualified success. We look to replicate this effort with future classes.”

The TechCelerator Program is a collaboration among Lackawanna County, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners and tecBRIDGE.

Scranton Tomorrow Announces Grants are Available

Eligible small businesses in the City of Scranton are encouraged to apply for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for business façade improvements. The program is administered through the City of Scranton with support from partnering organizations: Scranton Tomorrow, NeighborWorks of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and United Neighborhood Centers (UNC) of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Grants up to $10,000 with a 25% match required by applicants are available. If multiple small businesses share a facade, they can submit a joint application for up to $20,000 with the same 25% match.

The deadline to apply is September 20, 2023.

How to Apply

For more information, or to submit an application, contact the appropriate partner organization based on the location of your business:
Downtown Scranton and Hill Section: Contact Leslie Collins, President and CEO, Scranton Tomorrow, at
West Scranton and North Scranton: Contact NeighborWorks of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

South Scranton, Pine Brook, and Minooka: Contact United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania (UNC).

Apply Now!

Pennsylvania American Water Awards Grants to 8 Organizations

In advance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, celebrating the life and legacy of this prominent civil rights leader, Pennsylvania American Water today announced eight recipients of grants supporting the company’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity efforts. Grants in the amounts of $3,000-5,000 were awarded to eight organizations across the company’s service territory, totaling $35,000.

“Investing in organizations that promote inclusion, diversity and equity-related initiatives is a key component of our community engagement strategy,” said Justin Ladner, president of Pennsylvania American Water. “Through these grants, Pennsylvania American Water shows its continued commitment to helping create inclusive and welcoming communities across the Commonwealth.”

Pennsylvania American Water selected the following organizations across its service territory that support and reflect the company’s inclusion, diversity and equity values and efforts:

The Wright Center Awarded Trio of Grants From City of Scranton

The Wright Center for Community Health recently received three grant awards from the city of Scranton as part of a distribution of federal funds to promote residents’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scranton awarded a total of about $1 million in wellness grants to nearly two-dozen area nonprofits. City officials focused this round of grant giving on three categories: drug overdose prevention, behavioral health and violence prevention, and wellness.

The Wright Center – a Scranton-based provider of primary health care and preventive services – is active in all three of the targeted categories and was chosen to receive a combined $145,000 in grant support. The organization will inject those public resources into three ongoing programs to benefit patients, health care providers, and the larger community.

The first award, to be used for overdose and prevention programs, will enable The Wright Center for Community Health to further engage community partners and patients in the services of its state-designated Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence. A portion of the $50,000 grant will provide community training on the topics of substance use disorder, medication-assisted treatment, and stigma surrounding addiction. Among the intended recipients of the educational  sessions are law enforcement professionals, first responders, and government officials. This grant also will assist with harm reduction and long-term recovery support services in the region, which aim to reduce fatal overdoses.

The second award of $50,000 will be used to enhance The Wright Center for Community Health’s existing resiliency and wellness programming. Its Lifestyle Medicine service line will be integrated more fully into primary health care services, with the intent of engaging more high-risk patients in programs designed to help them positively adjust their behaviors. A prime focus will be on treating obesity as a chronic disease that contributes to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, cancer, and overall premature death.

The third award, in the amount of $45,000, will underwrite The Wright Center’s participation in a training program conducted by the New York-based Sanctuary Institute to promote employee wellness and create a supportive, trauma-informed environment for the benefit of the organization’s workforce, patients, and the broader community. The institute’s training model is seen by many as a needed antidote to the intensified pressure on health care workers and others brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scranton’s mayor announced the wellness grant distributions at a news conference on Nov. 22. The funds are part of $68.7 million that Scranton had received through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to address the pandemic’s economic and health-related fallout on city residents.

All applications were reviewed by the city, including by its public health coordinator, Dr. Rachna Saxena, and compliance consultants from Anser Advisory to ensure that organizations were not receiving duplicate federal benefits, per the guidelines set by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Applications were also reviewed for project sustainability, service to city residents, and more.

“The thoughtful and generous allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds by Scranton City Council will support our mission-driven efforts to improve the health and well-being of the patients and communities we humbly serve,” said Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, president and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education.

“Thanks to our local and federal officials,” she said, “these resources will help us to expand and augment our ongoing efforts to address the opioid epidemic and empower recovery, our resiliency and wellness programming, and trauma-informed training for our governing board, executive management, health care providers, interprofessional learners, and patients.”

The Wright Center for Community Health operates a network of primary care practices in Northeast Pennsylvania, three located in the city, providing access to affordable, nondiscriminatory, high-quality services including medical, dental, and behavioral health care. The nonprofit enterprise also maintains an administrative and educational hub in Scranton’s South Side neighborhood.

NeighborWorks NEPA Announces Grants Awarded in Scranton

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is pleased to partner with both the City of Scranton and the City of Carbondale to announce the block groups selected for funding in the 2022 Beautiful Blocks program cycle.

With a total of 101 properties in Scranton being awarded grants, NeighborWorks staff expects an approximate total of $80,000 in grant funding to be awarded to Scranton residents. Based on past results, an approximate total of $160,000 in matching funds from residents is expected to be contributed to awarded projects. In Carbondale, a total of 40 properties are expected to see approximately $30,000 in grant funding awarded, with matching funding from residents expected to total $60,000. A full list of groups receiving funding is attached to this release.

Beautiful Blocks is a home improvement program which provides matching grants of up to $1,000 per property to groups of residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes. 2022 represents the fourth consecutive program cycle in Scranton for Beautiful Blocks, with the program entering its second consecutive cycle in Carbondale after launching in the Pioneer City in 2021.

Members of selected groups have until November 1 to complete their individual exterior home improvement projects, with groups also eligible for a $500 stipend to conduct a community celebration or service project.

According to NeighborWorks President & CEO Jesse Ergott, “Beautiful Blocks is all about bringing people together to improve the neighborhoods they call home. We are thrilled that the program is resonating with so many of our neighbors in both Scranton and Carbondale and are greatly appreciative of all of the funding partners who help to make it happen. We are looking forward to continued growth of this program in both communities as we facilitate both physical improvements to homes and strengthened connections between neighbors.”

“It is so exciting to see our residents working as a team making improvements to their home and their neighborhoods,” said Michele Bannon, Carbondale City Clerk and former board chair for NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Year two of Beautiful Blocks has made a tremendous impact on the City. Each year the program is growing bringing more homeowners together. It’s amazing to see the impact of committed, empowered homeowners on our community.”

Beautiful Blocks in Carbondale is made possible with support from Lackawanna County Commissioners Jerry Notarianni, Debi Domenick, Esq., and Chris Chermak; with additional support from Millennium Packaging, Coterra Energy, Gentex, The Dime Bank, and other local businesses.

“The Beautiful Blocks program creates an opportunity for community-building while making
improvements in our neighborhoods. The City was excited to see the continued interest in the
program this year,” said Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti. “I look forward to visiting the
neighborhoods to see the completed projects.”

Beautiful Blocks in Scranton is made possible with support from the City of Scranton, with
additional support from Community Bank, NA, The Dime Bank, M&T Bank, NBT Bank, Johnson
College, and The Honesdale National Bank.

Over the first three cycles of Beautiful Blocks in the City of Scranton, more than 260 individual
projects have been completed by Scranton residents, grouped into 34 block groups. More than
$219,000 in grant funding has been distributed to as part of these projects, with participating
residents contributing more than $485,000 in matching funds to improving their neighborhoods.

In the first year of the Beautiful Blocks program operating in Carbondale, three groups of
neighbors participated, with more than $15,000 in grant funding awarded. This grant funding
helped to leverage more than $30,000 in funds invested from participating homeowners.

Residents of Scranton and Carbondale who are interested in participating in future cycles of
the Beautiful Blocks program can access more information by visiting the program homepage
at https:// More information is also available
by contacting Gerard Hetman, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Community
Development Specialist, at (570) 558-2490 or

SACF Women in Philanthropy Initiative Awards Grants

Women in Philanthropy (WIP), the initiative of the Scranton Area Community Foundation that focuses on empowering and transforming the lives of women and girls in the Lackawanna County region, proudly announces the recipients from its 2022 grants cycle, awarded after a highly competitive grant process. A total of $40,000 in grant funding was awarded to seven local nonprofit organizations during the Women in Philanthropy Quarterly Meeting held at the Colonnade in Scranton on Wednesday evening, April 27.

The recipients included nonprofits Along the Way ($10,000), the Catherine McAuley Center ($7,500), Dress for Success Lackawanna ($4,000), Johnson College ($5,000), Lackawanna College ($2,700), The Wright Center ($3,500), and the Women’s Resource Center ($7,300), all to support innovative projects and/or programs that work to transform the lives of women or girls across the Northeastern Pennsylvania region.

The grant award recipients and grant amounts were selected by Women in Philanthropy supporters, who had the opportunity to vote after hearing presentations from each of the nonprofit organizations.

The Robert and Rose Cavanaugh Fund to Feed the Hungry Poor Grants $14,680 in 2021 to Fight Hunger

In 2021, The Robert and Rose Cavanaugh Fund to Feed the Hungry Poor granted $14,680 to programs in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wayne Counties. The Fund, which was established in November 2018 at the Scranton Area Community Foundation through a planned gift from the late Robert and Rose Cavanaugh, supports entities and programs such as pantries, meal services, and food kitchens that are dedicated to serving the hungry poor.

The 2021 grant recipients and the purposes for the grants are:

● Catherine McAuley Center – “Food Pantry For Women and Families in Need”

● CEO Weinberg Regional Food Bank – “Food Delivery and/or Food Supplies”

● Here For A Reason – “Food Packaging and Distribution”

● Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Food Pantry – “Food for Food Pantry”

● Meals on Wheels of Greater Pittston – “Food Preparation and Delivery”

● Meals on Wheels of NEPA, Inc. – “Food preparation and delivery”

● NativityMiguel School of Scranton – “Hunger Relief for Families of NativityMiguel School”

● NEPA Youth Shelter – “NEPA Youth Shelter Grocery Fund”

● The Greenhouse Project – “Plants, Food, and Skills for Sustenance”

● ThinkBIG Pediatric Cancer Fund – “ThinkBIG Holiday Gift Card Program”

● United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA – “Angel’s Attic Food Pantry”

● Wayne County Community Foundation – “Wayne County Emergency Food Relief Fund”

Recipients were selected through a rigorous application process. Applicants were invited to submit grant requests for up to $5,000 using the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s online grant portal.

Ryanne Jennings from the Wayne County Community Foundation explained how the grant supported their efforts to provide fresh food to their local emergency pantries, “Wayne County Emergency Food Relief Fund purchased $3747 in local produce, eggs and dairy for the in Wayne County. Our pantries have very limited storage for items that require refrigeration, so the Emergency Food Relief Fund helps to provide the funds needed to purchase directly from the farmers directly before the pantries distribute their food to our community members in need of support.”

For more information about grant opportunities at the Scranton Area Community Foundation, please contact Cathy Fitzpatrick, Scranton Area Community Foundation Grants and Scholarship Manager, at 570-347-6203, extension 301, or

Apply today for a Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Grant

Does your organization provide work in any of the following areas?

  • Environmental and/or Local Parks Projects
  • Facility Improvement for Animal Welfare
  • Homeless Programs

Grants are available through the Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) grants program.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is accepting requests for proposals for the Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) grants program. Applications will be accepted from charitable organizations in Lackawanna County through Friday, January 15, 2022.

What is the Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) grants program?

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) is a youth leadership program of Leadership Lackawanna that provides high school juniors with the opportunity to meet with community leaders and decision-makers. In addition to leadership development, the students are also required to complete a philanthropy curriculum conducted by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. TLT seeks to help participants realize what they can do to make a difference in their community as young philanthropists and to further develop their leadership skills.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is proud to partner with Leadership Lackawanna in introducing the concept of philanthropy and grantmaking to our region’s youth. The Scranton Area Community Foundation allocates funding for the TLT class to grant. Priority areas are chosen by the TLT students. In 2022, grants will be provided to organizations working to make a difference in the following Priority Areas: Environmental and/or Local Parks Projects Facility Improvement for Animal Welfare Homeless Programs Grant applications for the TLT grants program are available through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s online grant management portal. The maximum grant amount awarded per grant for a 2022 TLT grant is $2,000.

Applications will be accepted from charitable organizations in Lackawanna County through Friday, January 15, 2022.

To submit an application, you will need to first create an account in our online grant management portal if your organization has not already done so. Please email with questions.