Credits, Grants & Other Incentives
Entrepreneurs seeking startup funds should look beyond the traditional lenders, such as the bank, family or friends. Tax credits, grants and incentive programs could also add cash to the bottom line, and unlike loans, they don't require repayment.
- Sustainable Business Tax Credit.
Businesses located in the City of Philadelphia can be classified as certified sustainable businesses once they are certified as B Corporations. B Corporations meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental standards via the B Rating System.
Once certified, a business shall remain eligible to receive Sustainable Business Tax Credits each year that such tax credits are available. For tax years 2012 through 2017, an eligible business shall receive a tax credit of $4,000, which may only be used against the tax based upon annual receipts. Program regulations and applications will be made available several months prior to the filing due date for the Tax Year 2012 Business Income and Receipts Tax return. No more than twenty-five (25) businesses will be certified as Sustainable Businesses in any one tax year.
Application for the Business Income and Receipts Tax Sustainable Business Tax Credit
Learn More about B Corporations
Becoming a Certified B Corporation
- Green Roofs Tax Credit
Credits of 25% of all costs incurred to construct the Green Roof, to a maximum of $100,000, can be applied against Philadelphia’s Business Income and Receipts Tax liability.
- New Markets Tax Credit
This federal tax credit is designed to generate private-sector capital investment in low-income areas. The program permits individual and corporate taxpayers to receive credit against their federal income taxes for making qualified equity investments in projects that finance community development, stimulate economic growth, and create jobs. Learn more through local providers:
- Pennsylvania Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC)
The PA JCTC offers a $1,000 per-job tax credit to approved businesses that agree to create jobs in the Commonwealth within a three-year period. The credit can be applied against various other business tax liabilities.
PA Department of Community and Economic Development
- Philadelphia Job Creation Tax Credit
The City of Philadelphia offers eligible business owners a one-time tax credit of up to $5,000 for each new qualified full-time job created in the city. Certain guidelines apply.
Department of Revenue
- Real Estate Tax Abatement
The City of Philadelphia offers a 10-year abatement of real estate taxes on qualifying rehabilitation or construction to encourage urban development and improvements to certain deteriorated industrial and commercial properties.
Board of Revision of Taxes
- Welfare to Work Credit
This incentive program aims to promote the hiring of workers with barriers to employment, targeting long-term welfare cash recipients. Tax credits of up to $8,500 per hire are available.
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit
This is an incentive program to promote the hiring of workers with barriers to employment. The program targets short-term welfare cash recipients, veterans, SSI recipients and ex-felons. The WOTC is 40% of the first $6,000 in wages.
- Philadelphia Re-Entry Employment Program (PREP) The Philadelphia Re-Entry Employment Program (PREP) was established for securing job creating economic development opportunities for ex-offenders through the expansion of existing businesses and the attraction of economic development prospects for the City of Philadelphia.
Guide to the Philadelphia Reentry Employment Program (New)
- High Performance Building Program
This State of Pennsylvania program provides grants (up to $500,000 or 10% of the total eligible building construction/renovation costs, whichever is less) or loans to help underwrite the cost premiums associated with the design and construction or major renovation of high-performance buildings, as identified in the Guidelines.
- Homeownership Rehabilitation Program (HRP)
This City of Philadelphia program provides developers a subsidy for the rehabilitation of vacant houses to be sold to homebuyers. The maximum subsidy is $35,000 per property but can be averaged across properties in the same zip code or in close proximity. An additional subsidy of up to $15,000 can be provided on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis on projects that have other subsidies or developer fee contributions.
- PA Dept. of Community & Economic Development Grants
The DCED provides grants up to $35,000 (also, loans) for the utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects. The funds may be used for any of the Clean Energy Project costs as explained in the Guidelines.
PA Department of Community and Economic Development
- Pa. Dept. of Economic Development Business Assistance Programs
These State of Pennsylvania programs are available to PA residents for land and buildings, machinery and equipment, working capital, workforce development, and research & technology development activities.
- Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program
Reimbursement grants up to $25,000 are available from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help small businesses acquire equipment or adopt processes that promote energy efficiency.
- Training Grants
The Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation (PWDC) provides grants up to 50% of employee training costs.
- Keystone Innovation Zones (KIZ )
KIZs are Commonwealth-designated areas that foster job growth by connecting discoveries in educational institutions to technology transfer and entrepreneurship opportunities. Companies locating in a KIZ, in operation for less than 8 years and meeting targeted industry requirements specific to each zone are eligible for certain benefits, including state tax credits. For more information visit Philadelphia’s two KIZs – the Navy Yard KIZ and the University City KIZ.
- Keystone Opportunity Zone Program (KOZ)
KOZs are parcel-specific areas where property owners and/or businesses that meet capital investment or new employment targets pay little or no taxes through 2010, 2013 or 2018. These taxes include the Business Income and Receipts Tax, Use and Occupancy Tax, Real Estate Tax, Net Profit Tax, State Business Tax, and State sales tax on items consumed at the KOZ site. KOZ sites are located throughout the City, including industrial parks, high tech centers and the Navy Yard.
- Storefront Improvement Program (SIP)
This program reimburses owners of commercial buildings and businesses within designated commercial corridors who make storefront improvements. The program can reimburse up to 50% of the cost of eligible improvements to a maximum of $8,000 for a single commercial property, or up to $12,000 for a multiple-address or corner business property.
Guidelines and eligible commercial corridors.
- Small Business Loans
Entrepreneurs participating in either a peer group, business course or individualized training are eligible for a direct loan product. The Small Business Loan (SBL) program offers loans of up to $25,000 for existing businesses and up to $15,000 for start-ups. SBLs are not tied to membership in a peer group and those applying are eligible to receive assistance assembling their loan package. Unlike a peer loan, applying for a SBL will require a credit check and assignment of collateral.
- Peer Loans
Entrepreneurs who become members of an Entrepreneur Works chartered peer group are eligible to apply for loans graduating in steps from $500 to $5,000. Individual members must make loan requests through their peer group. Peer loans follow a stepped-loan model, where an individual takes a small loan, successfully repays it, and is then eligible to borrow at a higher loan level (e.g. borrower takes a first loan of $500, successfully repays, and returns to borrow $1,000). Peer loans range from $500 to $5,000 and start at two levels: $500 (basic) or $1,500 (accelerated) depending on the length of their business ownership/experience. Both tracks cap out at $5,000 using a graduated step process. Peer loans do not require a certain credit score or the pledge of collateral; however, each loan must be unanimously approved by the borrower's peer group members. Peer borrowers are not judged on their credit but are offered the opportunity to have their credit pulled and reviewed.
- Loan Partnering and Referrals (for requests over $25,000)
In certain cases, Entrepreneur Works will work with partner programs to provide loans over $25,000.
For more information, visit www.MyEntrepreneurWorks.org
111 S. Independence Mall East, Suite 810
The Bourse Building
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition (GPUAC)
The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation (TEC-CC)
- Philadelphia Business Builder Loan Program
This program provides a pathway for small businesses with higher credit risks to obtain bank financing. Loans can be used for working capital, inventory, equipment purchase or capital improvements. This program is intended to increase the flow of capital to small businesses located in low- and moderate-income and /or predominately minority communities in the City of Philadelphia.
1207 Chestnut Street
TEC-CC through the Grow Philadelphia Fund, finances Philadelphia-based businesses.
- Loan Packaging
TEC-CC offers loan packaging services for small business owners at affordable prices. Through this program, many businesses have obtained U.S. Small Business Administration Guaranteed Loans.
- Third Party Transactions
TEC-CC acts as a financial intermediary to secure financing (up to $35,000) for clients through traditional financial institutions, non-traditional lenders, and quasi-government agencies.
4548 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
Women's Opportunities Resource Center of Greater Philadelphia (WORC)
- Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF): This fund offer loans, investment products and services to low-income and underserved populations in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area looking to start or expand their businesses, with a special focus on women and minorities.
Types of Loans include:
- Credit Builder Loans of $500 to $1,000
- Direct Loans of $500 to $2,500
- Credit Lines of up to $2,500
- Small Business Loans of up to $10,000 (for existing business only)
- Near Equity Loan Product - up to $35,000
2010 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Merchants Fund (TMF)
The mission of The Merchants Fund (TMF) is to provide financial assistance to current and past merchants in Philadelphia. Beneficiaries of TMF are current or former business merchants and must demonstrate a legitimate financial need. TMF provides assistance in three areas:
Operating Businesses: The Merchants Fund is committed to providing for the economic needs of the merchant community with modest grants in the areas of Business Stabilization, Emergency Situations, and Loan Matching.
- ReStore Retail Grants
The Merchants Fund is making this new program available through funding from the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department.
- Special Grants
The Merchants Fund selectively awards grants to foster the betterment of a group of merchants on a corridor or in a business district.
The Merchants Fund
1616 Walnut St, Suite 802
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- The Local Initiatives Support Corporation
The LISC Products and Services Guide outlines financial products and community services that LISC provides to community development corporations for building and developing sustainable Philadelphia communities.
- loans, grants and equity investments
- technical and management assistance
- Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation
PIDC provides an array of services to help local businesses become more profitable, provide goods and services, and generate jobs that keep Philadelphia’s economic foundation strong. This includes a range of financial and managerial services, including direct loans to small businesses and minority contractors.
- Find additional business funding/grant sources available through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at NewPA.com.