Merski, Harkins: $20 million awarded to power Erie business growth, innovation

ERIE, Sept. 13 – Erie businesses will have access to fresh infusions of capital thanks to nearly $20 million in funding to Ben Franklin Technology Partners Central & Northern Pennsylvania, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development will allow Ben Franklin to make equity investments and loans to fuel area businesses and jobs.

“There is so much talent and vision in the Erie business community, and those natural assets combined with an energetic, talented workforce have given birth to dozens of exciting enterprises,” Merski said. “The funding awarded today will mean more capital flowing to new and emerging businesses, which will continue growing Erie’s reputation as a welcome business climate and a place to invest.”

Harkins said, “The investment in Ben Franklin Technology Partners means existing and emerging companies in our community can look forward to fresh infusions of funding. It’s a perfect investment in our area’s natural potential that will allow local business owners to spread their wings, create more jobs and keep our economy expanding.”

The funding was awarded under the Direct Venture Investment program, which provides funding to economic development organizations to provide seed and later-stage capital for existing and emerging companies involved in developing and marketing technologically advanced products and processes.

The funding is part of a package of $246 million in American Rescue Plan funding awarded statewide under both the Direct Venture Investment program and the Revolving Loan Fund program.

Capital programs administered by economic development partners are scheduled to be open by Oct. 17. Small businesses should apply for funding through their economic development organizations.

More about the funding is available here: