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The Spark Wilkes-Barre Grant Program has officially opened applications to eligible entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, or relocating businesses in Wilkes-Barre City

WILKES-BARRE, PA: The Spark Wilkes-Barre Grant Program is now open to eligible applicants in Wilkes-Barre City. The Spark Wilkes-Barre Grant Program was launched to generate economic development activity in our region by facilitating the growth of new companies and relocation of existing businesses to the City of Wilkes-Barre.

This program will provide financial incentives that correspond with the completion of free current and existing business development curriculum modules, provided by local economic development partners - pairing educational pathways with grant funding to help you successfully launch your business and ensure its sustainability in a Wilkes-Barre City location.

Wilkes-Barre City Mayor George C. Brown says, “I am pleased to have the opportunity to allocate over 1 million dollars to enhance entrepreneurial commitment to future business growth within the City of Wilkes-Barre.”

Lindsay Griffin, EVP/COO at the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce also says: “Economic recovery and vitality continue to be a critical focus of the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber. This partnership with the City of the Wilkes-Barre through the American Rescue Plan Act's Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds will allow us to assist, recruit, and work alongside of new businesses to ensure their growth and success. Through this program, our resources, and the many great partners engaged, we look forward to building upon our business community and provide a pathway to establish a business in our growing area. This is one of the most entrepreneurial times we will ever see as we emerge from the pandemic, and we are ready, alongside of the City of Wilkes-Barre, to be at the helm of this development. We are thankful to Mayor George Brown and his team as well as City Council for their partnership and support in this effort.”

Spark Wilkes-Barre is a grant program available to entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, or relocating businesses that can be used towards rent in year one of a lease at an approved location within the City of Wilkes-Barre, as well as reimbursable parking fees. Businesses applying for grant funding must be located in the City of Wilkes-Barre to be eligible for funding. Additional requirements include: the applicant completing a lease agreement at an approved location, the possession of a Wilkes-Barre City business privilege/mercantile license, and the completion of a quarterly impact survey.

“This generous funding commitment from the City has the potential to be transformative. Too often, small businesses place their dreams on hold because of high start-up costs. Spark Wilkes-Barre removes one of those significant hurdles – rent – and allows entrepreneurs to reallocate that money toward equipment, staffing, and the other necessary items needed to open successfully,” says Dr. Anthony Johnson, Director of Workforce Development and Wilkes-Barre Connect at the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The Spark Wilkes-Barre Grant Program is a program of the City of Wilkes-Barre's American Rescue Plan Act's Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. This program will be administered by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund, and powered by the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce and the City of Wilkes-Barre.

Interested applicants can visit https://www.wyomingvalleychamber.org/wb-city-grant/ for more information and to complete an application for funding. Applicants can also contact Anthony Johnson at 570-408-1732 or anthony@wyomingvalleychamber.org with any questions.

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