§ 121.13. Competitive grants.
In addition to basic grant funding, additional support is available through competitive grants for implementation of the local business development strategy or new opportunities that would have a significant impact on the designated enterprise zone. The competitive grant is reserved for projects of larger scale and greater impact requiring commensurately larger resources to facilitate higher levels of new job generation or job retention, or both, and business investment and for which other contingent investment commitments are in place. Priority will be given to applicants for competitive grants that demonstrate a direct benefit to the applicant in its award of these funds to a business through assumption of an equity position or other assets of the business.
(1) Eligibility to apply. Designated enterprise zones are eligible to apply for competitive grants beginning with 2nd-year basic grant funding and annually through zone termination.
(2) Eligible uses of funds. It is the intent of the Department to utilize the competitive grant component of the enterprise zone program as a catalyst for targets of opportunity that will retain or create employment within the designated enterprise zone. Eligible activities include the following:
(i) Stabilization of existing export business or industry so that the firms will become competitive as a result of the requested funds.
(ii) Expansion of existing export businesses or industries facilities or operations or production capabilities.
(iii) Modernization of the methods used by export firms without displacing current employes.
(iv) Attraction of new export firms to the enterprise zone as a direct result of funds requested under the competitive grants component of the enterprise zone program.
(v) New technology ventures approved for funding support through the Ben Franklin Partnership are eligible for use of competitive grant funds.
(3) Eligible costs. Eligible costs include infrastructure development, purchases or improvement of equipment and machinery, and property acquisition or improvements. The Department will also consider as eligible up to 40% of the total cost of working capital or inventory costs, based on documentation of market prospects to support the request.
(4) Application contents. An applicant shall show how the proposed project to be supported by the competitive grant would fit into an economic development strategy for the designated enterprise zone and result in jobs which are in export firms. Proposed projects resulting in jobs in commercial and retail operations will receive low priority. The application shall include evidence of firm financial commitment on the part of business and lending institutions and evidence that the project will be under construction within 120 days of receipt of a grant contract. The Department is interested in funding projects which will result in the creation of at least one job for every $15,000 of enterprise zone program competitive grant funds invested, and in which at least 50% of the jobs created will be of higher than minimum wage.
(5) Amount of grant. It is the Departments intention to award a limited number of competitive grants each fiscal year, subject to the availability of required funding. If the total available appropriation is committed for a fiscal year, applications received subsequently will be held until funds become available. No municipality may receive a competitive grant which when added to basic grants to zones in the municipality would be more than 20% of the total enterprise zone program appropriation. No competitive grant will be in excess of 30% of the project cost.
(6) Submission of application. Three copies of the application shall be submitted to the Departments Strategic Planning and Operations Office and one copy shall be submitted to the appropriate regional office. Applications will be accepted throughout the year.
The provisions of this § 121.13 adopted April 1, 1988, effective April 2, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1493.
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