Pennsylvania Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

PA Incentives | Finance, Loans, IRB, Workforce Development
A comprehensive list of Pennsylvania financial aid, loans, grants, abatements, workforce development, exemptions, funds & capital investment opportunities.

Pennsylvania Incentives and Workforce Development Guide


Pennsylvania Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

For a list of Pennsylvania economic development agencies that can help with the site selection process, visit our Online Site Seekers’ Guide.



Global Access Program (GAP): ( Designed to enhance the capability of small to mid-sized Pennsylvania companies to increase export sales. GAP is administered by the Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development (OIBD) and provides up to $3,500 per year to qualifying Pennsylvania companies to reimburse 100% of eligible expenses associated with specific export promotion activities. This program is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

High Performance Building Program (HPB): ( Provides financial assistance in the form of grant or loan funds that will be used by eligible applicants to underwrite the cost premiums associated with the design and construction or major renovation of high performance buildings in the Commonwealth. The Program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). The following applicants are eligible for grants/loans:

  • A Small Business – a for-profit corporation, limited liability company, partnership, proprietorship or other legal business entity located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and having 100 or fewer full-time employees worldwide at the time of submission of the application. 
  • An Individual – any person engaged in the construction or renovation of a dwelling that he or she currently occupies or will occupy as a primary residence. 

Historic Preservation Tax Credit (HPTC): ( Provides tax credits to qualified taxpayers who will be completing the restoration of a qualified historic structure into an-income producing property. All projects must include a qualified rehabilitation plan that is approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) as being consistent with the standards for rehabilitation of historic buildings as adopted by the United States Secretary of the Interior. The tax credits awarded to a qualified taxpayer shall not exceed 25% of the expenditures as determined by the application in connection with the completed project. The total tax credits awarded to a taxpayer may not exceed $500,000 in any fiscal year.

Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISR): Grant and low-interest loan financing to perform environmental site assessment and remediation work at former industrial sites. Grants and loans up to $200,000 for environmental assessments; Grants and loans up to $1 million for remediation Interest rates of 2%; Terms up to 5 years for assessments and 15 years for remediation projects; A 25% match is required for grant and loan projects

Innovate in PA Venture Investment Program: ( A Commonwealth of Pennsylvania initiative intended to address the financing needs of technology-oriented businesses by increasing the amount of risk capital available. The VIP operates pursuant to the statutory authority of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (“BFTDA”). The goal of the VIP is to assist in establishing a technology-based economy within Pennsylvania, allowing Pennsylvania to compete in the global marketplace.

New PA Venture Capital: ( A $60 million fund designed to provide loans to venture capital companies looking to make investments in companies located in the Commonwealth. It will allocate 50% of the funds available to venture capital partnerships which operate locations in historically underserved areas of Pennsylvania. These areas are defined as counties outside of the Philadelphia MSA and those with populations below 1 million. The program also requires a match by the VC of three dollars of investment into PA companies for every one dollar the Commonwealth provides. This creates $240 million in investment capital for PA companies.

Pennsylvania Capital Access Program (PennCAP): ( Loan guarantee through participating banks to be used to support a wide variety of business purposes such as land, building, equipment and working capital. Guaranteed loans up to $500,000

Pennsylvania Community Development Bank Loan Program (PCD Bank): ( Debt financing for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Community and economic development loans that support job creation. Loans are from $250,000 to $5 million.

Pennsylvania First: ( Comprehensive funding tool of grants, loan and loan guarantees to facilitate increased investment and job creation within the commonwealth. Uses include machinery/equipment; job training; infrastructure; land and building improvements; environmental assessment/remediation; acquisition of land, buildings, right-of-ways; working capital; and site preparation, demolition and clearance. 

Renewable Energy Program (Geothermal & Wind Projects): ( REP provides financial assistance in the forms of grant and loan funds to promote the use of alternative energy in Pennsylvania. The program is administered jointly by the DCED and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). Provides loans for component manufacturers of renewable energy generation equipment up to $40,000 for every new job created. Loans for geothermal systems or wind energy generation or distribution projects shall not exceed $5 million or 50% of the total project cost, whichever is less. Provides grants for component manufacturers of renewable energy generation equipment up to $5,000 for every new job created. Grants for wind energy generation or distribution projects up to $1 million, or 30% of the total project cost, whichever is less. Grants for planning and feasibility studies up to 50% of the total cost of the planning project or $175,000, whichever is less. Grants shall not exceed $5 million and have a term of not more than five years. There is a matching investment requirement of at least $1 for every $1 of program funds awarded. There is a $100 non-refundable application fee due at the time of submission made payable to the CFA. There is a 1% commitment fee on all approved loans.



Job Creation Tax Credits: ( $1,000-per-job tax credit to create new jobs in the state within three years. Tax credits are used to offset various business tax liabilities. 25% of the tax credits allocated each year must go to businesses with less than 100 employees. Tax credits may not be utilized by a business until the jobs are actually created. Must create at least 25 new jobs or expand the existing workforce by at least 20%.

Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Tax Credit Program: An incentive program that provides tax credits to for-profit companies less than eight years old operating within specific targeted industries within the boundaries of a Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ). With a total pool of up to $25 million in tax credits available annually, the KIZ tax credit program significantly contributes to the ability of young KIZ companies to transition through the stages of growth. Applications must be submitted on or before September 15 of each year. Tax credits must be applied against the tax liability of a KIZ company for the tax year in which the credit was issued. Unused tax credits may applied against the tax liability of the KIZ company for up to five years from date the KIZ tax credit is issued or may be reassigned/sold to another taxpayer. A KIZ company may claim a tax credit equal to 50% of the increase in that KIZ Company’s gross revenues in the immediately preceding taxable year attributable to activities in the KIZ, over the KIZ Company’s gross revenues in the second preceding taxable year attributable to its activities in the KIZ. The KIZ Tax Credit is limited to $100,000 annually per KIZ company.

Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ): ( A program that develops a community’s abandoned, unused, underutilized land and buildings into business districts and residential areas that present a well-rounded and well-balanced approach to community revitalization. The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) administers this partnership between state and local government in collaboration with the Department of Revenue (state taxes) and the Department of Labor and Industry (Unemployment Compensation taxes), based on the act of October 6, 1998 (P.L. 705, No. 92) known as the Keystone Opportunity Zone, Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone and Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone Act (73 P.S. §§820.101- 820.1309) (the “Act”). 

Unless otherwise indicated, the term “Zone” or “Zones” refers collectively to a KOZ, KOEZ and KOIZ. Zones are designated by the local communities and approved by DCED, except for KOIZ, which are designated by Executive Order of the Governor and approved by the local communities. Zones provide specific state and local tax benefits. Zones entitle businesses and residents to certain tax benefits when they locate in a Zone. The number and size of Zones varies. Each Zone is comprised of Subzones. The term “Subzone” or “Subzones” refers collectively to KOZ Subzones, KOEZ Subzones and KOIZ Subzones unless otherwise indicated. Along with the remarkable tax advantages, these areas provide close proximity to major interstates, ports, rail lines and international airports.

Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTC): ( The program provides tax credits to eligible businesses
contributing to an Opportunity Scholarship Organization.
Business contributions are then used by Opportunity
Scholarship Organizations to provide tuition assistance
in the form of scholarships to eligible students residing
within the boundaries of a low-achieving school to attend
another public school outside of their district or
nonpublic school. A low-achieving school is defined as a
public elementary or secondary school ranking in the
bottom 15% of their designation as an elementary or secondary school based upon combined math and reading Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) scores.

Tax credits may be applied against the tax liability of a business for the tax year in which the contribution was made. The tax credits awarded to businesses will be equal to 75% of their contribution amount, which can be increased to 90% upon the business committing for two years. The total may not exceed $750,000 per taxable year.

Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit & Assignment Program: ( Allows companies holding qualifying R&D Tax Credits to apply for approval to sell those tax credits and assign them to the buyer(s). Funding is equal to 10% tax credit of company’s increased research and development expenses over a base period (prorated to not exceed $15 million annual cap for all businesses). 
Up to 20% of total the pool is set aside for small businesses. Applicable to CNI, CSFT and PIT tax liability. 
Unused credits may be carried over for up to 15 succeeding taxable years

Tax Increment Financing Guarantee Program: ( Promotes and stimulates the general economic welfare of various regions and communities in the Commonwealth and assists in the development, redevelopment and revitalization of Brownfield and Greenfield sites in accordance with the TIF Act. The program provides credit enhancement for TIF projects to improve market access and lower capital costs through the use of guarantees to issuers of bonds or other indebtedness. Maximum guarantee amount per project is $5 million. Uses included infrastructure and environmental projects for industrial enterprises and retail establishments; infrastructure, environmental and building projects for manufacturers, hospitals, convention centers and associated hotels; utilization of abandoned or underutilized industrial, commercial, military, previously mined institutional sites or buildings; or undeveloped sites planned and zoned for development in accordance with any existing comprehensive municipal plan.

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