ARC Summer Camp
ARC Accepting Applications for Summer Study Programs in Entrepreneurship and STEM for Region’s Middle and High School Students

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) opened applications for two summer study opportunities: the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA) and the Appalachian STEM Academy at Oak Ridge. Both programs, planned for summer 2023, are free intensive learning experiences specifically for the Appalachian Region’s high school and/or middle school students and teachers.

The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA), developed in partnership with Appalachian State University, EntreEd, and STEM West, prepares the next generation of regional entrepreneurial leaders and thinkers. High school students from across Appalachia will be selected to participate in a comprehensive learning curriculum designed to cultivate creativity, sharpen business acumen, and develop skills essential for entrepreneurial success. The students will have the opportunity to develop and implement business ideas, refine and prototype those ideas, and eventually deliver a shark-tank-style pitch presentation for an audience of entrepreneurs. AEA will be held from July 8-21, 2023, at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. More information and application materials are available at www.arc.gov/AEA.

The Appalachian STEM Academy is a hands-on learning experience for Appalachia’s middle and high school students, as well as high school teachers in STEM-related fields. Hosted by Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, this program is a gateway to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the Appalachian Region. Working with award-winning scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, high school and middle school students conduct guided group science, math, and computer
science technology research projects, while high school teachers work with science practitioners to develop STEM-related curriculum. Many students gain their first exposure to applied science and STEM education through this experience.

For the first time in the program’s 32-year history, ARC is excited to expand the middle school STEM Academy into two separate, one-week sessions, allowing double the number of students to participate.

  • Middle School STEM Academy Session 1: July 8-14, 2023
  • Middle School STEM Academy Session 2: July 15-21, 2023
  • High School STEM Academy: July 8-21, 2023

The programs will be held at Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. More information and application materials are available at www.arc.gov/STEM.

Applications for both opportunities are due February 10, 2023. If you are unable to complete the online applicantion you can forward the information to jlench@pa.gov and the applications will be completed on your behalf.
Get Connected Program Has Openings for Businesses in Lackawanna County

The Get Connected Program, an eCommerce program for small businesses to improve their website presence and increase online sales, is actively seeking applications for businesses in Lackawanna County. Information about the program and an application intake form are available here.

As part of the eligibility requirements, candidate firms must complete two online trainings that were developed by the Small Business Development Centers at The University of Scranton and Wilkes University. Registration for the first training is here. To be considered for the first-come first-serve program, please complete the application intake form and the first training. NEPA is grateful to the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development and the Lackawanna County Board of Commissioners for their continued financial support of this Program. 
 
For additional information, contact Kurt Bauman at 570-891-4665 or Steve Zaricki at 570-891-4671 or 866-758-1929.
Member Spotlight
The Dime Bank
This month’s Membership Spotlight is The Dime Bank. NEPA spoke with Mick Dennis, Vice President.

The Dime Bank believes in creating amazing customer experiences. As a community bank based in Northeast PA with branches in Wayne, Pike, and Lackawanna counties, they work hard to offer their customers the very best in community banking. The Dime Bank's focus is on their customers. They know that each individual and each business is unique. They take the time to understand individual needs and create a financial plan specific to each person or business. Since 1905, they have been making a difference in the lives of those who choose them as their total financial partner. They want the communities they live and work in to remain strong and prosperous by offering better banking, both in person and online.

The Dime Bank is a full-service financial institution offering a complete range of checking accounts, including free checking with rewards, savings accounts, loan products, and investment services to both individuals and businesses. They offer innovative digital banking services with access to accounts 24/7 both online and with a mobile banking app to make managing money easy. Customers can pay bills, transfer funds, deposit checks, set notifications, plus more, all with a few swipes on their mobile device. Customers can open an account online in minutes. If customers prefer to come into their branches, The Dime Bank staff offer the personal attention of employees who care about their customers and the community. The Dime Bank provides financial education to help customers grow their money and keep their finances secure.

Customers value The Dime Bank for both the personal attention they give them and the different types of accounts and digital products they offer. This sets The Dime Bank apart, enabling customers to focus on what is important in their lives and get their banking done easily and securely by trusting them to assist them in making informed financial.

The Dime Bank supports organizations in the area with hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial donations each year to help enrich the lives of everyone. The Dime Bank employees participate in many fundraising events and volunteer their time to support wildlife sanctuaries, educational programs for students, and non-profits through United Way, to name a few. Supporting the local communities so they remain a place where people can start businesses, grow with their families, and neighbors who care about each other is integral to The Dime Bank's mission.

Mick Dennis stated, “NEPA Alliance strengthens our communities with their grant funding, economic development, and assistance programs for the community and businesses in our counties. Our customers are able to grow their businesses which in turn keeps them viable to partner with The Dime Bank.”

To learn more about The Dime Bank, visit their website at www.thedimebank.com
New Markets Tax Credits Program

NEPA is soliciting capital projects that are in need of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). Specifically, we are seeking projects from eligible distressed census tracks within the Commonwealth of PA that have capital estimates that range from $6-$60M. NEPA will be applying to the U.S. Treasury seeking a NMTC allocation for 2023. Contact Kurt Bauman or Steve Ursich. For more on New Market Tax Credits, click here.
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.
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

Equine Facility – Bellefonte
  • This NEPA SBA 504 loan project was completed in partnership with Enterprise Bank for the purchase of commercial real estate, construction, equipment and associated soft costs.

Dentist – Moscow
  • This NEPA SSBCI loan project was completed in partnership with People Security Bank & Trust Company for the purchase and improvement of commercial real estate.

Wholesaler – Carbondale
  • This NEPA SSBCI loan project was completed in partnership with Fidelity Bank for the purchase of commercial real estate and 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.
APEX Accelerator News
The NEPA Alliance PTAC is now The APEX Accelerator at the NEPA Alliance
The NEPA Alliance PTAC is getting a new name, The APEX Accelerator at the NEPA Alliance (APEX Accelerator). Even though the name has changed, our mission to provide government contracting assistance at no cost to the businesses of Northeastern Pennsylvania remains the same. The APEX Accelerator serves businesses in Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, and Wayne counties. 
 
This name change comes as part of the APEX Accelerators program transition to the Office of Small Business Programs in the Department of Defense (DoD). The APEX Accelerators program plays a critical role in the efforts to identify and engage with a wide range of businesses entering and participating in the government supply-chain. The program provides the education and training that all businesses need to become capable of participating in DoD and other federal, state, and/or local government contracts.
 
To connect with an APEX Accelerator team member at the NEPA Alliance, call us at 570-655-5581 and select option 2.
Understanding ITAR & ITAR Compliance for Supply Chain Subcontractors Webinar
January 26, 2023 - 9:30 AM

Working with our International Program Manager, SAP&DC International and PTAC Programs, and the Northwest Commission PTAC, we will be conducting a joint sponsored webinar on export controls and compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). ITAR has long been a complex issue for exporters. It can be even more complex for a subcontractor in the defense/aerospace supply chain who does not have any direct exports.

Many primes are requiring their subcontractors to show an understanding and compliance with ITAR regulations, and federal agencies are adopting specialized clauses in defense contracts mandating contractors flow ITAR requirements down to their subcontractors.

There is no formal process or certification for a subcontractor to become ITAR compliant. However, there are important steps subcontractors can take to come into compliance with the law and address ITAR compliance requests from prime contractors.

This program will provide a thorough understanding of the scope of the ITAR regulations and the compliance requirements of a subcontractor.

Learn the requirements for registration with the U.S. Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) under ITAR, what is an export, internal security, and control requirements, what is a technology control plan and much more…

The presentation will be hosted by Bob Imbriani, CGBP, Vice President International Services at Team Worldwide.
Government Contracting Information and Events of Interest

  • Last week Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman signed a letter-of-intent partnering SBA and United States Department of Defense newly established Office of Strategic Capital at the President Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The Office of Strategic Capital will assist in funding companies developing technologies deemed critical to national security. Read the article here.
  • Last week the Director of Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs Mr. Farooq Mitha and Associate Administrator for U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Entrepreneurial Development Mr. Mark Madrid signed an MOU, which highlights the partnership between both agencies by strengthening and expanding small business development nationally and locally. Read the article here
  • Last week, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment, Dr. William LaPlante joined NPR’s Marketplace to discuss the defense industrial base, security assistance for Ukraine, and the annual defense funding bill. The conversation took place amidst a site visit to Marvin Engineering Company, a longtime small business supplier and participant in DoD’s Mentor-Protégé Program. Listen to the full episode here
  • The Department of Defense announced significant updates to the Innovation Pathways website that will allow it to serve as a "one-stop shop" for learning how to deliver innovation to the DoD. Read more here.

Source: DoD Office of Small Business Programs
IP Protection in China Webinar
Thursday, January 12, 2023
9:00 AM EST

Presented by The Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development’s Authorized Trade Representative in Shanghai in conjunction with Zhong Lun Law Firm.

Receive professional guidance and learn about the nuances of protecting your intellectual property in China. If your company is interested in doing business in China or has questions about the changing IP landscape, we invite you to join us for this informative webinar. Our dedicated staff in Shanghai will be available to answer any questions during the webinar or as follow-up.

For more information contact:
Linda Foerster, Senior Program Manager, lfoerster@pa.gov
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Export Program, visit www.dced.pa.gov/trade
RAISE Grant Program Now Open!
Application Deadline is February 28th

The U.S. Department of Transportation is currently accepting applications for funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program for FY 2023. Applications are due by February 28, 2023.

The RAISE Grant Program provides investments in surface transportation that will have a significant local or regional impact and projects that improve equity and environmental justice by addressing transportation-related disparities and climate change related consequences. Selected projects will improve safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, mobility and community connectivity, economic competitiveness and opportunity, state of good repair, partnership and collaboration, and innovation. States, local governments, transit agencies and transportation authorities are eligible to apply. Funding can be used for a variety of capital projects and planning projects. More information can be found here. Please contact Kate McMahon, Senior Transportation Services Manager, with any questions.
LTAP 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.

NEPA is currently scheduling in-person classes for Spring 2023. If you are interested in requesting a class for your municipality, please contact Daniel Yelito, Transportation Services Manager, NEPA Alliance at 570-891-4652 or email dyelito@nepa-alliance.org.

LTAP will also continue offering online classes, webinars and virtual drop-in sessions. To learn more about upcoming virtual offerings, visit https://gis.penndot.gov/ltap/.  
Looking for New Nonprofit Grant Opportunities?
Don’t forget that NCAC Members receive 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. NCAC members can receive access to the Foundation Directory Online by visiting our in office workstation any time during normal business hours. 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 Pike, with 57.4%, and Monroe, with 51.9%, counties are ranked second and fourth highest in the state in the percentage of renters experiencing a housing cost burden? 

To access a Research Brief from the Pennsylvania State Data Center, click here.

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