McNeill announces nearly $20 million to support small businesses in the greater Lehigh Valley

BETHLEHEM, Sept. 13 – The Lehigh Valley will receive economic development funding to support area small businesses from $246.8 million of American Rescue Plan funding that is being distributed across Pennsylvania, state Rep. Jeanne McNeill announced today.

The funding will be distributed through the State Small Business Credit Initiative and will be utilized by local economic development partners who will make direct equity investments and loans to small businesses that can grow and expand job opportunities throughout the commonwealth, including in the Lehigh Valley.

“As we saw throughout the pandemic, small businesses are the backbone of the local and state economies and they need support in order for them to succeed and the economy to grow and thrive,” said McNeill, D-Lehigh. “I am excited to see the funding come to Bethlehem where it will help new and innovative businesses succeed and stay in Pennsylvania.”

According to McNeill, $19,678,479 was awarded to Ben Franklin Technology Partners Northeastern Pennsylvania, which is based in Bethlehem and covers the Lehigh Valley. It was part of nearly $123 million in Direct Venture Investment funding which was awarded statewide.

An additional $123.8 million in Revolving Loan funds was also awarded statewide which provides funding to economic development organizations to create or recapitalize revolving loan funds to support financing for Pennsylvania small businesses.

For more information about SSBCI funding, visit the Department of Community and Economic Development website.