The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is offering $1 million in grant money to small businesses and farmers for energy efficiency, pollution prevention and natural resource protection projects through the Small Business Advantage grant program.
New to the program this year is the opportunity for farmers to install solar pumping systems for their agricultural operations.
Eligible projects include adopting or acquiring equipment or processes that reduce energy use or pollution. Examples of eligible projects are HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency LED lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks.
Natural resource protection projects may include planting riparian buffers, installation of stream-bank fencing and investing in agricultural stormwater management projects, with the goal of reducing sediment and nutrient loads in waterways.
Last year, 233 small businesses were awarded grants for their projects. Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible.
Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption or pollution related expenses.
Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $7,000. Only costs incurred between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, are eligible.
Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2020-21 funds are exhausted or April 12, 2021, whichever occurs first.
All applications must be submitted through the Commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance. 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 Advantage Grant webpage.