ARC Grant Funding

We are pleased to formally open the 2022-2023 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant funding round. Funding through the program is a federal (ARC), state (PA DCED) and local (NEPA Alliance) partnership.

As the designated Local Development District for the Appalachian Regional Commission, we are excited to provide you with information related to the ARC Area Development and ARC Local Access Road Programs. NEPA serves as the regional partner and conduit for ARC funding. Most of the pre-applications will be considered for funding in the Spring/Summer of 2023; however, some projects may be considered for funding earlier due to additional or unused funds from this fiscal year. For more information, please contact Kurt Bauman at kbauman@nepa-alliance.org or Betsy Ardizoni at eardizoni@nepa-alliance.org.
EDA Application Process Updates

Transition to UEI

As a reminder, all applicant organizations need an identifier for federal awards processes. On April 4, 2022, that identifier is changing from the DUNS number to the Unique Entity ID (UEI), issued by SAM.gov. Learn more about the transition here.

To accommodate this transition in our grant systems, all open EDA Notices of Funding Opportunity in Grants.gov will be closed from April 1 to April 4, 2022 for implementation of the new SF-424 containing the UEI.

Action Required: All EDA applicants must complete existing applications in open workspaces by 11:59 pm ET on March 31 to avoid losing progress on applications. Applicants may begin creating new applications beginning on April 4. ED-900 Application Forms

Along with the implementation of the new SF-424, which captures the UEI, EDA will be replacing the existing ED-900 application forms in some of the open Notices of Funding Opportunity postings on Grants.gov with improved ED-900 forms. This will not affect the Indigenous Communities NOFO, which will continue to use the current ED-900 forms.

The updates made to the application forms increase clarity, ensure that EDA receives necessary information, and incorporate location-specific questions to allow EDA to more effectively meet new data requirements and stakeholder needs.

Please reach out to your Economic Development Representative with any questions.
Economic Development Roundtable

The NEPA Alliance was invited to participate in an Economic Development Roundtable hosted by Senator Bob Casey on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.
Jeffrey Box, President & CEO, and Kurt Bauman, Vice President, Community & Economic Development Services, were honored to participate in Senator Casey’s roundtable held on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Many representatives from around the Commonwealth participated in the discussion which focused on economic development and the roll out of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
ARC/EPA Announces Two Additional ARPA Local Recovery Fund Trainings
April 26 & 28, 2022
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM ET

How Are Appalachian Communities Using ARPA Funds?

In our first set of trainings in January and February, we learned about the basics of the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). As you begin developing projects, you may wonder: what are my peers doing across the region, and how can I emulate them?

Join us to hear from local officials with the real-life details about how to effectively deploy ARPA funds at the community level. In April, Training 3 (Parts 1 and 2) will offer case studies in a variety of project types ranging from broadband to small business development.

ARPA in Appalachia: Local Fiscal Recovery
Fund Training Series

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Part I: April 26, 2022, from 10:00 AM-11:00 AM EST
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Part II: April 28, 2022, from 10:00 AM-11:00 AM EST
 
Note: This training is reserved for county and local government officials and staff, along with local development districts in the ARC region. Please feel free to forward this information to appropriate government officials and other key leaders in the region who will be deciding on uses for the funds.
 
With support from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness is partnering with the National Association of Counties and EntreWorks Consulting on a series of training sessions in 2022 to share key requirements, best practices for long-term economic transformation, and successful case studies related to ARPA’s Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.   
 
Missed a Training? Looking For More Resources? 
 
Visit the Hub to access past recordings, resources and connect with other local officials and local development districts working on deploying ARPA funding to spark community revitalization. Click the button below to learn more. 
Member Spotlight
Click Video
This month’s membership spotlight is Click-Video LLC. NEPA spoke with Joy Lin, President/CEO.
Click-Video is a premier provider of online video technology used in the eLearning, eCommerce, and eMeeting industries. Headquartered in the Scranton Enterprise Center, Click-Video is actively involved in the local technology landscape employing staff, freelance consultants, and professional services which are sourced locally.

Click Video creates rich digital media experiences for use by government agencies and corporations. Their work is used in classrooms, museums, trade shows and online by a worldwide audience. They have special expertise deploying interactive content to smart phones and reporting results in real-time.

Click-Video is their eLearning brand delivering content and technology for corporate and government clients. ClickChainz provides eCommerce video technology for more than 60 leading online merchants; and, their REACHUM brand is disrupting the virtual meeting space using patent-pending technology which engages attendees three times longer.

Click-Video’s innovative solutions deliver differential advantages for their customers. Message recall is better. More products are sold at lower cost. And more gets accomplished in less time.

Joy Lin stated, “NEPA has given us advice and exposure that has allowed us to obtain government certifications and high level contacts.”

In addition, Click-Video staff are deeply involved in a local charity serving at risk children.

For more information visit, click-video.com
Get Connected

The Small Business Development Centers at The University of Scranton and Wilkes University have initiated a webinar, “Get Connected.” The Get Connected training provides an overview of NEPA’s Get Connected program and also the things small businesses need to consider when expanding their web presence, social media or e-commerce, for this program or beyond. Please note that the webinar is “on demand” to provide small businesses with flexibility. Businesses that would like to be considered for the Get Connected program can click here for more information and to complete an application form.
NEPA Alliance Membership Campaign
NEPA Alliance is conducting its annual membership campaign.

The NEPA Alliance values the opportunity to work with all stakeholders in our seven-county region. Our goal is to provide the best possible community and economic development services to create and retain jobs in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Membership Benefits
  • FREE Networking Reception Invite for 1 Person
  • FREE Use of Meeting Space
  • FREE Member Spotlight
  • Discount on NEPA event costs
  • Discount on Business Loan (.5%)
  • Discounted Economic Impact Analysis/Research
  • Sponsorship & Marketing Opportunities

NEPA Alliance serves businesses, communities and governments throughout seven counties and we need your assistance!

Our general annual membership starts at $275.

You can complete your membership online, including payment by clicking the button below.
Need more information visit our membership hub or contact Donna Hritz at dhritz@nepa-alliance.org or call 570-891-4666.
NEPA Alliance will be a sponsor, exhibitor and speaker at the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Summit for Business Success held on April 20th from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Walk In Art Center, Schuylkill Haven, PA.

NEPA's presentation is titled NEPA Alliance Business Development Services: Your Competitive Strategy Solutions. Competitive advantage is not only difficult to achieve, but it is a challenge to maintain, especially in times of uncertainty and change. In a highly collaborative learning environment, you will discover the Business Development Resources available from the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Alliance and how to leverage these business development services to remain competitive in today’s challenging markets. You will gain practical insights from three core business development programs, covering Business Financing; Government Contracting; and, International Business Development, and how the programs and services of the NEPA Alliance can support your business success.

You will leave with a clear understanding of the programs and services available from the NEPA Alliance to support your organization’s competitive advantages and a potential action plan to follow-up with the presenters to make the most of your competitive strengths.
Embargos & Sanctions Webinar
Thursday, April 14, 2022
10:00 – 11:30am

Embargoed Countries, Arms Embargoed Countries, Sanctioned Countries & Presidential Sanctions… What do these terms mean, and how do they relate to export transactions and compliance?

This program will breakdown into simple terms the various types and levels of embargos and sanctions. It will explain who the controlling agencies are, determine what types of transactions are affected, and how to incorporate a review of these embargos and sanctions into your due diligence and compliance procedures.   

The program will include an update on the current sanctions against Russia.
NEPA Alliance is committed to working with regional small businesses and nonprofits during the continued uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19). In cooperation with state and federal agencies, NEPA is offering loan assistance programs to businesses and nonprofits.

Information on the assistance programs and the Coronavirus can be found on NEPA's COVID-19 Response site and our Spanish translated site NEPA COVID-19 Recursos en Español.

NEPA is currently partnering with federal and state agencies to ensure small businesses and nonprofits in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have available resources accessible to them through the Coronavirus crisis. This includes help with the U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest federal disaster loan program for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus. In addition, NEPA also has numerous loan programs that offer low fixed interest rates to businesses in the seven-county region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

For the latest information, please contact NEPA at 866-758-1929 or visit NEPA's COVID-19 Response site. Information is continually changing, and the assistance programs that are being offered may change. NEPA will continue to evaluate all available options to best serve the Northeastern Pennsylvania business community.
Business Finance News
NEPA Alliance has several loan programs available for small businesses located in Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill and Wayne counties.
These low cost, low interest loans offer reduced down payments and standard loan term maturities for machinery and equipment, land and building acquisition, construction and renovation. Loan rates are fixed and generally below the prime lending rate.
 
Eligible businesses include Manufacturers, Industrial, Agriculture/Agribusiness, Hospitality & Tourism Related Enterprises, Recyclers, Day Cares, Computer Related Services, Advanced Technology, and Retail and Service Related Businesses. Other business sectors may also qualify.

To learn more about these loan programs, contact Stephen UrsichDave Nat, Donovan Klem, Ken Doolittle or James Urso at 570-655-5581 or 866-758-1929.
Recently Funded Loans

Hotel – Dunmore
  • This NEPA Alliance SBA 504 loan project was completed in partnership with The Dime Bank for the refinance of commercial real estate and equipment

Mechanic Shop – Saylorsburg
  • This NEPA Alliance SBA 504 loan project was completed in partnership with Fidelity Bank for the purchase of commercial real estate and equipment

Music Studio – Swoyersville
  • This NEPA Alliance ARC loan was completed with borrower equity for the purchase of equipment

Brewery – Scott Township
  • This NEPA Alliance ARC loan was completed with borrower equity for the purchase of equipment
NEPA Alliance Business Finance Corporation is a state-wide CDC allowing for NEPA BFC to lend SBA 504 Loans to eligible small businesses located in Pennsylvania.

Financing Structure

A bank or other lender finances 50% of the project cost and takes a first lien position on the assets financed. The SBA 504 loan finances 40% of the project cost, up to $5.5 million, and takes a second lien position. The borrower then contributes a down payment of as little as 10%.

Small Businesses can Receive:

  • Subordinate Financing
  • Up to 90% Loan to Value
  • Up to $5.5 Million in SBA Financing
     - Unlimited Total Project Cost

SBA 504 Loans Offer:
 
  • As Little as 10% Equity Injection
  • Terms up to 25 Years
  • Guaranteed Fixed Interest Rate

*Eligibility Criteria Apply*
 
To learn more about these loan programs, contact Stephen UrsichDave Nat, Donovan Klem, Ken Doolittle or James Urso at 570-655-5581 or 866-758-1929.
NEPA PTAC
PTAC News
Biden Signs the PRICE Act to Improve Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses

Small businesses play an integral role in federal procurement; and in 2022, there has been a strong push to focus on small business prioritization. One of the recent initiatives to improve the procurement process for small businesses is the PRICE Act. President Biden recently signed the Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act (PRICE), which would expand opportunities for small businesses to work with the federal government.

What is the PRICE Act?
The PRICE Act sets to strengthen and expand the role of small businesses in federal procurement by encouraging the adoption of innovative procurement processes. Under this bipartisan legislation, the Department of Homeland Security will create and publish an annual report on successful projects using innovative procurement techniques.

The PRICE Act has five (5) main goals to help make government contracting more accessible for small businesses by:

  1. Improving and encouraging competition
  2. Reducing time to award
  3. Achieving cost savings
  4. Achieving better mission outcomes
  5. Meeting goals for contracts awarded to small business concerns

How Does the PRICE Act Aim to Help Small Businesses?
Many small businesses have innovative solutions to offer to the federal government, but often face hurdles along the way large or Other than Small Businesses do not have to worry about. The federal government wants to work to remove these barriers by modernizing the federal acquisition system and putting more emphasis on small business contracting goals.

What the PRICE Act Means for the Future of Government Procurement? 
Since the PRICE Act was just recently signed, there is some speculation of what the act will evolve into, but there are not a lot of concrete specifics beyond the five (5) overarching goals and the establishment of the government wide council.

Source: Winvale Newsletter 3-24-2022
PTAC Spring Events

The NEPA Alliance PTAC will have a busy spring as we have several events we will be presenting at or hosting on various government contracting topics at which our clients and associates are invited to participate. Here is the schedule as of this newsletter:

April 20th - How to be a PennDOT Business Partner
April 20th -2022 Summit for Business Success
May 6th - NEPIRC MFG Day
May 11th - iPartnership SBIR/STTR Training
May 18th - How to Navigate PennDOT’s ECMS
June 15th - PennDOT Innovated Resource

You can contact the PTAC for registration details at 570-655-5581 and select option 2.
PennDOT Connects
Municipal Outreach Sessions

A meaningful opportunity for engagement under the PennDOT Connects initiative is about to come your way. Municipal administrators, planners, engineers and public works directors are invited to attend an upcoming workshop in your PennDOT district to discuss how PennDOT Connects can help your community. The workshops will be held in-person and virtually.

Friday, April 22, 2022
9:00am to 11:00am
PennDOT District 4
55 Keystone Industrial Park
Dunmore, PA 18512

Monday, May 2, 2022
9:00am to 11:00am
PennDOT District 5
1002 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101

The Municipal Outreach/Peer Exchange sessions will be interactive workshops that engage participants in peer exchange and idea sharing. Municipalities will have the opportunity to interact with PennDOT, their local Metropolitan Planning Organization or Rural Planning Organizations (MPOs/RPOs), and one another.

Beginning with an overview of the Municipal Resources Program, the session will present the strategic priorities of PennDOT Connects and the community outcomes they support. Participants will be encouraged to contribute their own ideas on how to take advantage of the program and to share their own best practices in planning, land use and project delivery.

The session will highlight two of PennDOT Connects’ overall goals:

  • Strengthen communities’ planning capacity and capabilities.
  • Enhance municipalities’ ability to capitalize on a variety of funding sources.

PennDOT Connects is an opportunity to be heard and to improve transportation projects in ways that may have not been considered before or were recognized too late in the project delivery process. Attend a session near you to learn more about PennDOT Connects and the free resources available to municipalities. These sessions will focus on the resources available to municipalities through PennDOT Connects, and not on specific projects on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in PennDOT Districts.

To register for one of the workshops, click here.

For more information, contact Kate McMahon at (570) 891-4670 or kmcmahon@nepa-alliance.org.
DCED Multimodal Transportation Fund Grant Program Now Open! 
Application Deadline is July 31

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is currently accepting applications for funding through its Multimodal Transportation Fund. The application period closes on July 31, 2022. 
 
Funding can be used to coordinate local land use with transportation assets to enhance existing communities; for projects related to streetscapes, lighting, sidewalk enhancement and pedestrian safety; for projects improving connectivity or utilization of existing transportation assets; and for projects related to transit-oriented development. Municipalities, counties, school districts, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, ports, rail freight and passenger rail entities are eligible to apply. A local match of 30% is required. 

More information can be found on the DCED website here.
LTAP In-Person Classes
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance has partnered with PennDOT to offer the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) training series in all seven NEPA counties: Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill and Wayne counties.

Asphalt Roads Common Maintenance Problems
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Pike County Training Center
135 Pike County Blvd
Lords Valley, PA 18428
(570) 296-1960

Road Surface Management
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Pike County Training Center
135 Pike County Blvd
Lords Valley, PA 18428
(570) 296-1960

Traffic Signs Basics
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
American Fire Company
25 East Patterson Street (Rt. 209)
Lansford, PA 18232
(570) 645-3900

To register, visit https://gis.penndot.gov/ltap/ and log on using your username and password. First time users must set up an account by clicking on “Create Account.” For technical assistance when registering, call 1-800-FOR-LTAP (1-800-367-5827) or contact Daniel Yelito, Transportation Services Manager, NEPA Alliance at 570-891-4652 or email dyelito@nepa-alliance.org.

LTAP will also continue offering some courses, webinars and drop-in sessions in an online format. To learn more about upcoming virtual offerings, click here.
Looking for New Nonprofit Grant Opportunities?
Don’t forget that NCAC Members receive remote access and assistance in accessing the Foundation Directory Online, the most comprehensive foundation database. With access to informative profiles of over 235,000 U.S. foundations, you’ll know exactly which foundation fits your programmatic needs, how much to ask for and where to go for more information. Don’t forget that we’re here to help with all your nonprofit needs! For more information on this service, as well as membership benefits, contact Betsy Ardizoni, Community Services Manager for NCAC, at eardizoni@nepa-alliance.org or 570-891-4662.
Did You Know...
Did You Know
Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau has recently released 2021 population estimates at the county level? According to a Data Brief from the Pennsylvania State Data Center, Pike County was fifth in the state in population increase with +1,361 people. On the other hand, Luzerne County was fourth in the state in natural population decrease with -1,604 people. Click here to access the Data Brief. 

For additional information, contact Steve Zaricki at 570-891-4671 or 866-758-1929.
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