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12 Pa. Code § 121.5. Planning for an enterprise zone.

§ 121.5. Planning for an enterprise zone.

 (a)  Eligibility to apply for planning funds. An applicant shall be a financially disadvantaged municipality under the Financially Disadvantaged Municipalities Matching Assistance Act (73 P. S. § §  398.1—398.9).

 (b)  Application procedure:

   (1)  An eligible municipality can apply directly to the Department or through a redevelopment authority for planning funding for a proposed enterprise zone. The application shall be accompanied by a copy of a resolution by the local governing body authorizing submittal of the application directly to the Department or on behalf of the local governing body by the county redevelopment authority.

   (2)  In those instances in which the functional area of a proposed zone overlaps municipal boundaries, the Department encourages a joint application from the involved municipalities. An approved joint application would be funded by the Department through a county in which the proposed zone is located, or through a regional agency serving the county. The application shall include a copy of a resolution from each participating local governing body authorizing the method of submittal selected.

   (3)  If a multi-municipal enterprise planning zone application involves a third-class or larger city with a city redevelopment authority, the application may be submitted by the city government on behalf of the other participating municipalities. Multi-municipal applications involving third-class or larger cities shall include signed resolutions from each participating municipality authorizing the submittal of the application by the city government on behalf of the participating municipalities.

   (4)  Smaller municipalities preparing an application for funding are encouraged by the Department to utilize the small business development experience and expertise of existing agencies or consultants having a proven track record of assistance to successful small business development projects.

 (c)  Priority in selection for funding.

   (1)  A municipality determined by the Secretary of the Department to be financially distressed under the Financially Distressed Municipalities Act (53 P. S. § §  11701.101—11701.501), may be given priority consideration for enterprise zone planning grants.

   (2)  Priority in selection for funding will be accorded to a municipality proposing a zone containing the largest number of smaller firms or organizations within the municipality which market products or services outside the metropolitan or multi-county regional area. Examples of the export firms are: industrial, manufacturing, fabricating, molding and assembly plants; regional medical centers; regional or national headquarters of financial institutions and data services; and construction and engineering firms.

     (i)   Export firms customarily employ a range of skill levels compensated at greater than minimum wage, and the structure of their work forces offers opportunity for advancement. Export firms export products or services and import cash earnings creating the opportunity for continuing business expansion in the community. Export firms also provide superior opportunities for spin off new firms or expansion of firms with objectives, such as additional product or service innovation or as local supplier firms. Export firms produce multiplier effects on community employment through the secondary firms they help to create.

     (ii)   Proposed zones which exhibit potential to develop a predominance of export firms are acceptable.

     (iii)   Proposed zones selected for a planning grant, especially in smaller municipalities, will often include a mix of business firms. Although retail, commercial and consumer services firms are not included in the primary focus of the enterprise zone program, approval for the use of program resources to assist these firms will be granted where the assistance can be shown to strengthen the strategy to assist export firms.

   (3)  Special consideration will be given to awarding planning funds for at least one proposed zone in an urban area, or a proposed zone in a rural area including several small municipalities, which will involve technical assistance and day-by-day project administration by a multi-county regional planning and development commission. The applications should provide ample and regular opportunity for input by the applicant local elected officials and reserve for them the final determination of the direction the project is to take.

 (d)  Size of proposed zone. No specific criteria govern the size of a proposed zone. Consideration should be given to the practicality of size in view of the availability of local financial and technical assistance resources for economic development. The greater business firm density of urban areas is generally accompanied by greater availability of financial and technical business development resources of financial institutions and other economic development organizations. The lower business firm density of small municipalities in predominantly rural areas provides a reasonable prospect of even one economic development professional working effectively with firms spread over a larger geographical area than would be possible in an urban area. In most rural and in many smaller urban areas, adherence to the program priority on export firms will likely indicate proposed zone boundaries. In rural areas, this consideration may suggest combining areas within contiguous municipalities into a single proposed zone. In the central cities, the density of business development may justify a proposed zone which is essentially neighborhood in size.

 (e)  Application contents. The application for planning funds shall contain the following:

   (1)  A clear and complete description of the boundaries of the proposed zone, accompanied by a map in which each item in the description is clearly legible. The description and the map should indicate the names of perimeter and interior streets, bridges, streams and creeks, as well as other natural and manmade landmarks and monuments. Approximate total acreage or square mileage and the most recent population, employment and percentage of poverty figures for the proposed zone should also be included.

   (2)  A brief narrative concerning what is generally known about the following items in relation to the proposed zone:

     (i)   The business environment of the area in terms of prevailing patterns of business expansion or contraction.

     (ii)   The impact of subparagraph (i) on recent employment opportunities and unemployment rates.

     (iii)   Particular area characteristics which either facilitate or impede business expansion, such as: labor costs, composition, reliability and availability; convenience of transportation; access to customers and suppliers; the current availability of business sites and structures at competitive prices with adequate infrastructure and energy availability; adequacy of transportation services and facilities to the proposed zone; proximity to educational and training institutions relevant to business work forces; area quality of life in terms of environmental quality, cost of living, availability of cultural amenities and recreational facilities; business climate in terms of government responsiveness and community attitudes toward business; corporate or university research and development facilities nearby; capital availability in terms of conventional commercial credit, seed and venture capital and government financing programs available to firms in the proposed zone; regulation of development by local government within the proposed zone; and capital budget and capital improvement programs utilized by the local government in which the proposed zone is located.

   (3)  A commitment to undertake a business development survey interview of firms located within the proposed zone. No specific criteria govern the extent of the firms to be surveyed. The percentage of firms in the proposed zone to be included in the survey will depend upon the business density and will be determined by the applicant. The budget for the application should reserve a portion of the anticipated planning grant or indicate other resources which are available for the survey task. The business development survey serves two important objectives:

     (i)   To gain an understanding on a firm-by-firm basis of the business development opportunities and constraints of firms in the proposed zone.

     (ii)   On the basis of subparagraph (i) to allocate business development resources available to the proposed zone in a manner which will lower business costs, increase business investment and increase the quantity and quality of employment opportunities. The survey process may be divided into seven parts, each of which should appear as a work element in the narrative work program of the application:

       (A)   The survey interview of firms in the proposed zone. Survey forms are available from the Department; however, other forms may be used with prior Departmental approval in order to assure comparability of survey results.

       (B)   Identification of types of business development assistance needed on a firm-by-firm basis to undertake business expansion or to remove local constraints to business expansion.

       (C)   Inventory of all sources of business development technical and financial assistance which can be made available to firms in the proposed zone to assist in their expansion. Typical of important services are the following:

         (I)   Small business incubator technical assistance.

         (II)   Business plan preparation/revision assistance.

         (III)   Business loan/grant packaging.

         (IV)   Federal government procurement bid assistance.

         (V)   Foreign export market development assistance.

         (VI)   Job training assistance.

         (VII)   Technology transfer applications technical assistance.

         (VIII)   Development/commercialization of new technologies assistance.

         (IX)   Production site location services.

         (X)   Arrangement with each prospective provider agency of business development technical assistance to respond to requests from the zone coordinator for assistance to individual firms in the proposed zone.

       (D)   Preparation of a business file and an individualized business expansion plan of assistance for each surveyed firm requesting the assistance, based on findings from the survey interview.

       (E)   Provision, or arrangement of provision, through referral to appropriate business development resources, of the indicated types of assistance to each surveyed firm requesting the assistance.

       (F)   Follow-up with each firm requesting assistance to ensure that the assistance is being delivered as promptly and effectively as possible, that the desired impact is being achieved and that new opportunities or constraints identified in the interim are being responded to.

       (G)   Upon completion of this first cycle, adaptation of the process to a suitable continuous and cyclical activity for the enterprise planning zone local business development strategy document which, in turn, will be the basis of the application to the Secretary for zone designation. The types of modifications made and the length anticipated for each cycle should be described and explained in the strategy document.

 (f)  Application submission. Four copies of the application shall be submitted to the Department. One copy shall be submitted to the appropriate regional office and three copies shall be submitted to the Strategic Planning and Operations Office. Addresses of these offices will be published annually as a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


   The provisions of this §  121.5 adopted February 11, 1983, effective February 12, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 747; amended April 1, 1988, effective April 2, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 1493. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (103722).

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