Arrow Studio & Events Receives Funding

Arrow Studio & Events, LLC, is a studio and event center that offers a rentable venue, open studio, and kitchen space for local residents, entrepreneurs, business owners, and industry associations. The space at Arrow includes an open square footage setting with a blank slate event and studio space for a variety of needs. The open studio space will be designed for corporate and social events, photographers, videographers, entrepreneurs, designers, fitness professionals, product testers, artists, musicians, and other creatives.

NEPA’s funds assisted Arrow in purchasing a property in downtown Pottsville to house their event center. NEPA received these funds from the USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) fund, which encourages lending to small businesses in rural areas. The building is within proximity to local restaurants, bars, breweries, and coffee shops/bakeries. Other funding assistance was provided by the Pottsville Area Development Corporation (PADCO) and the Pottsville Redevelopment Authority.
StartUp NEPA

NEPA’s Angel Fund Initiative, StartUp NEPA, has made its first two investments totaling $75,000 to two different entities in our region. $25,000 was invested in November 2022 to studio BE, a mindfulness company based in Luzerne County, PA. studio BE teaches mindfulness skills to improve employees’ well-being—reducing stress, increasing mental clarity, improving emotional agility and interpersonal communications, and strengthening resilience.

$50,000 was invested in November 2022 to Conservation Labs, a water management company based in Pittsburgh. Their technology, H2know takes measurements from your pipe every second and uses a patented technology and machine learning approach to translate those signals to accurate water flow estimates, leak alerts, and water insights.
Member Spotlight
Constantino's Catering & Events Inc.
This month’s membership spotlight is Constantino's Catering & Events Inc. NEPA spoke with Lawrence Nicolais, Jr., President.

Constantino's Catering is a full-service catering and events company. They operate a full-service venue in Clarks Summit, in addition to their offsite catering operation which serves most of Northeastern PA. They are expanding to a second full-service venue, The Ridge at Maiolatesi, in March 2023 and opened Bailey's Cafe and Suites on Main in Dalton PA.

Mr. Nicolais said, “First, we provide great food and plenty of it. We also provide staffing for front and back of the house. We can provide alcoholic beverage service to our catered events. We also include nonfood items such as linens, china, silverware, and glassware. We also provide coordination service for weddings and other high-profile events.”

They pride themselves on great service and high-quality catered foods. Constantino's Catering is available to help all organizations in our area with fundraising events and community awareness. They are happy to take the lead to accomplish successful events for the host and a great experience for their guests.

"We do pride ourselves in providing a service that the customer values at the end of the event. In a world of rising prices, we are focused on providing the highest quality experience for our customers and their guests. We feel that by doing it the right way, the customer can justify the expense in the end. Our personal attention, great communication, and friendly staff are just a few reasons customers keep coming back for their next event," Mr. Nicolais explained.

When ask about NEPA’s benefits, Mr. Nicolais stated, “NEPA Alliance has been very helpful to us over the years to gain affordable financing for our projects. During the pandemic, they were instrumental in helping us gain access to financing to sustain our business when our doors were closed and limited to business."

For more information visit
Get Connected Program Has Openings for Businesses in Northeastern Pennsylvania

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 Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, and Wayne counties. 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.
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 ranging 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 one Person ($125 Value)
  • 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 $295.

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 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

Event Center – Pleasant Mount
  • This NEPA SBA 504 loan project was completed in partnership with The Honesdale National Bank for the refinance of commercial real estate

Event Center – Sugarloaf
  • This NEPA SBA 504 loan project was completed in partnership with Luzerne Bank for the purchase and improvement of commercial real estate

Deli – Wilkes Barre
  • This NEPA SBA 504 loan project was completed in partnership with Community Bank, N.A. for the purchase of commercial real estate
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.
Export Documentation & Procedures Webinar
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
10:00 a.m.

This webinar will provide a real-life understanding of the more complex issues that may arise with export documentation and what is involved in transporting goods to foreign buyers. It will take you through the process of determining what documents are required and how they are prepared or obtained.
The NEPA Alliance APEX Accelerator, formerly the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), has a new logo and an expanded mission to support small businesses in the government arena to engage and supply their services and products to Federal, State, and local agencies.

MISSION: Serve as the axis for existing and new businesses to strengthen the defense industrial base by accelerating innovation, fostering ingenuity and establishing resilient and diverse supply chains.

VISION: A diverse and resilient domestic industrial base that can deliver preeminent solutions to the military and other government users.

In future issues, we will expand on the plan to achieve the new goals and objectives received from the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP).

You can reach the DoD OSBP program website site HERE.
DBE Consultative Workshop A Success
The NEPA Alliance APEX Accelerator hosted a hybrid workshop to introduce the Monroe County Transit Authority (MCTA) who presented their Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Goal Methodology for projects planned during the period of October 01, 2022 through to September 30, 2025. The workshop was held in accordance with the “Consultative Process” per 49 CFR 26.45(g)(1). DBEs, small businesses and organizations working with DBEs were encouraged to participate and provide input. MCTA shared their insight on the methodology they used to develop their current goal of 1.0%. MCTA also provided information on upcoming projects which were of interest to those in attendance.
It is important to note for a small business to be competitive in the federal transportation contracting arena, they should consider applying through the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PA UCP) for DBE certification. The APEX Accelerator staff can support a Northeastern Pennsylvania small business in the PA UCP application process to obtain their DBE certification.
Contact the NEPA Alliance APEX Team at: 570-655-5581, option two.
Understanding the GSA Event
NEPA Alliance APEX Accelerator is working with the Southeast PA APEX Accelerator to host a General Services Administration (GSA) webinar on March 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
GSA representatives will discuss how to work with their agency to increase opportunities for small businesses by providing best value to federal agencies across federal contracting marketplace. Registration is free and is open. You can sign up for the program HERE.
For more information on this event, contact the NEPA Alliance APEX Team at: 570-655-5581, option 2.
DLA OSBP FY 2023 Webinar Schedule
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Office of Small Business Programs offers monthly webinars to educate small businesses and others about DLA’s mission and opportunities to participate in our various supply chains. Hear directly from experts at DLA's diverse buying commands as they discuss the DLA Small Business Program and our requirements, which include procuring military spare parts, food, fuel, uniforms, medical supplies and construction material for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, Coast Guard, 11 combatant commands, other federal agencies and partner and allied nations. All webinars are FREE! You just need to register.
Land and Maritime Webinars:
  • DIBBS: Quoting—March 07, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
  • Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS) — April 11, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
  • C-Folders—May 16, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
  • Vendor Shipping Module— June 20, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
  • Pricing—July 18, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
  • Packaging—August 15, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
  • Resolving Issues with Orders—September 26, 2023, 2 p.m.
  • Post Award—October 10, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
  • Casting and Forging—November 07, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
You can make reservations for the above set of sessions at
(Select Land & Maritime)
Small Business Office Webinars:
  • Doing Business with DLA w/an Emphasis on WOSB Program—March 8, 2023, 1:30 p.m.
  • Understanding How to Do Business with DLA Contracting Services Office (DCSO)— April 5, 2023, 1:30 p.m.
  • Understanding How to Do Business with Troop Support—May 10, 2023, 1:30 p.m.
  • Doing Business w/DLA w/an Emphasis on SDVOSB Program—June 14, 2023, 1:30 p.m.
  • Understanding How to Do Business with DLA Distribution—July 12, 2023, 1:30 p.m.
  • Understanding How to Do Business with DLA Disposition—August 9, 2023, 1:30 p.m.
Register for an event by following the registration instructions within the event of your choice located at
Source: The Link Issue #27 - 01/2023
PennDOT Connects Municipal Outreach Sessions

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.
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
PennDOT District 4
55 Keystone Industrial Park
Dunmore, PA 18512

Tuesday, May 16, 2023
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
PennDOT District 5
1002 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101
The municipal outreach/peer exchange sessions will consist of an interactive workshop that engages participants in peer exchange and idea-sharing. Municipalities will have the opportunity to interact with PennDOT, their local metropolitan planning organization or rural planning organization (MPO or RPO) staff and one another. These sessions will include an overview of the PennDOT Connects Municipal Resources Program, information on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and grant opportunities and other resources available through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participants will be encouraged to contribute their own experiences and to share their best practices in planning, land use, and project delivery.

PennDOT Connects is an opportunity for communities to make connections, be heard and improve transportation projects in ways that may have not been considered before or were recognized too late in the project delivery process. To learn more or to register for one of the sessions, click here.
DCED Multimodal Transportation Fund Grant Program Now Open
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is currently accepting applications for funding through its Multimodal Transportation Fund for 2023-2024. The application period closes on July 31, 2023.

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.
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

LTAP will also continue offering online classes, webinars and virtual drop-in sessions. To learn more about upcoming virtual offerings, visit  
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 or 570-891-4662.
Did You Know...
Did You Know
Did you know that the PA Center for Workforce Information & Analysis has information by County, Workforce Development Area, and Metropolitan Statistical Area? To access this information, click here.

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