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.


Pennsylvania wants businesses to succeed and offers a variety of programs with technical and financial assistance to help them develop and thrive. If you’re seeking funding for a business startup or expansion, community project or site revitalization in Pennsylvania, the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) offers programs that can help. Below is a list that highlights some of our many programs. For a full list of programs, please visit:



Business In Our Sites (BOS): ( The Business in Our Sites Program provides loans for the acquisition and development of key sites for future use by businesses, private developers and others.

The program is administered through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (“CFA”). The program is intended to provide financial assistance to municipalities and others to plan and prepare sites for future use. Projects which require site development assistance where a business has already committed to locating at a specific site or where a private developer has already committed to locating a facility for a specific user may also seek financial assistance under other appropriate programs administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (“DCED”). For information on these programs, please consult the DCED web site, or contact the Center for Business Financing.
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Pennsylvania First (PA First): ( The Pennsylvania First Program was established as a comprehensive funding tool to facilitate increased investment and job creation in the commonwealth and to enable the commonwealth to compete more effectively in the global economy.

Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority Loans (PIDA): ( The PIDA provides low-interest loans and lines of credit through certified economic development organizations (CEDOs) for eligible businesses that commit to creating and/or retaining jobs and for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities. PIDA funding may be used in conjunction with other private financing, state financing programs or with programs operated by the statewide economic development network of local economic development providers.



Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC): ( The JCTC program was established for the purpose of securing job-creating economic development opportunities through the expansion of existing businesses and the attraction of economic development prospects to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Job Creation Tax Credit Program is a key component of the Commonwealth’s plan to develop and maintain a flexible arsenal of economic development incentives for Pennsylvania business to lead the way into the 21st century. The Job Creation Tax Credit Program is available to eligible businesses who, within three years from a negotiated start date, create 25 or more jobs or increase employment by 20%. Every new full-time job, up to a set maximum which meets certain minimum wage standards, will result in a $1,000 tax credit that the business can use to pay a number of state business taxes. The business may claim these credits only after the jobs are created. A minimum of 25% of all tax credits available to be awarded each fiscal year will be allocated to businesses that employ 100 or fewer employees.

Keystone Innovation (KIZ) Zone Tax Credit: The Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credit Program is a key component of the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Program. The KIZ Program, established in 2003, creates designated geographic zones to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities by aligning the combined resources of educational institutions and the private sector. For-profit business entities 1) located within the geographic boundaries of a particular KIZ, 2) in operation less than 8 years, 3) operating within one of the KIZ targeted industry segments or sectors, 4) and meeting any other requirements specified by the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) may be qualified KIZ companies and eligible to participate in the KIZ Tax Credit Program.

KIZ Tax Credits can be used to offset certain state tax liabilities. With a total pool of up to $15 million in tax credits available to KIZ companies annually, the KIZ Tax Credit Program significantly contributes to the ability of young KIZ companies to transition through the stages of growth. This innovative program also contains a tradability component crucial to young companies that have little or no tax liability.

Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ): ( The KOZ program is one of the nation’s boldest and most innovative economic and community development programs. This unique program 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 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.

Research & Development (R &D) Tax Credit: ( R&D tax credits are available to taxpayers incurring qualified expenses for research and development in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue administers the approval of applications for R&D tax credits. Qualified businesses, including pass-through entities can apply the tax credit against the following Pennsylvania state taxes: Capital Stock/Foreign Franchise Tax, Corporate Net Income Tax and Personal Income Tax. The tax credit must first be applied to the entity’s corporate tax liability, if any, for the year in which the tax credit is awarded before it can be passed through to its partners, shareholders or members. The tax credit can also be sold or assigned. A purchased or assigned tax credit may be applied to no more than 75% of the tax liability of the purchaser or assignee. The tax credit may not be carried back and is not refundable. The amount of the tax credit passed through to partners, shareholders and members is based on the percentage of income distribution from the entity receiving the tax credit. The buyer shall immediately claim the credit in the taxable year in which sale or assignment is made.



WEDnetPA: ( Created by the Department of Community & Economic Development and made available through the Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania – WEDnetPA – the program provides qualified employers training funds for new and existing employees. WEDnetPA is a unique, collaborative partnership of community colleges, state system universities and other educational institutions working together to be responsive to the needs of Pennsylvania’s business community.