SCRANTON, PA. – The City of Scranton awarded just over $300,000 to support the creation and expansion of small businesses on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. Businesses applied for the grants that are part of the City’s $68.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
“Today, we celebrate more of the unique businesses that have decided to call Scranton home,” Mayor Paige G. Cognetti announced at Spice Asian Market, 343 Adams Ave., Scranton. “Through our ARPA Startup and Expansion grants, we are supporting entrepreneurship and employment opportunities throughout Scranton.”
Through a spending plan approved by City Council in May 2022, the City allocated a total of $1.25 million to support the creation and expansion of Scranton’s small businesses. Applicants can receive up to 25% of eligible costs in their startup or expansion project budget, with a $100,000 limit per business.
In January, the City awarded $349,610 to five small businesses. With Tuesday’s awards totaling $301,160.30, approximately $600,000 remains to support startup and expansion projects. Applications remain open, and funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis with submissions under constant review.
Applications were weighed based upon the City’s ARPA mission, which aims to give people access to resources, rebuild infrastructure systems that impact everyday life, and foster equitable wealth generation targeting residents’ needs. All applications were reviewed by the City, compliance consultants from Anser Advisory, and representatives of both the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania for business sustainability and duplication of benefits, among other factors.
Grant recipients, the funding they will receive, and their project details, in alphabetical order, are:
- Adezzo, 515 Center St., $71,000 for operating costs, expanded menu options, and ongoing improvements to the downtown coffee shop that came under new ownership in 2022.
- Showcase Ventures, Inc., 201 Lackawanna Ave., Suite 220, $100,000 for the emerging music discovery platform to prepare for a public launch in 2023. Costs include engineering and software development, design, personnel, and marketing. Showcase was founded by NEPA native Dave Yeager whose professional credits include work with Universal Music Group, Beats Music (acquired by Apple in 2014), Apple, and Zoom Video Communications.
- Spice Asian Market, 343 Adams Ave., $22,673.55, for the support of the new Asian and international goods marketplace in downtown Scranton. Funding will support the market’s expanding inventory and marketing costs. Spice previously received a $5,000 Small Business Microgrant from the City of Scranton.
- The Loft, 326 Biden St., $7,486.75, for ongoing renovations of the unique micro event space to offer more public events and themed pop-up cocktail events. Costs include furniture, flooring, and equipment. The Loft also previously received a $5,000 Small Business Microgrant from the City.
- Urban Co-Works, 116 N. Washington Ave., third floor, $100,000 to create a new flexible office solution in downtown Scranton to adapt to workplace changes accelerated by the pandemic. Funding will support the purchase of needed furniture, technology, and accessories for the coworking space. Scranton Urban Co-Works is the company’s second coworking space, building upon the rapid success of their first location in Schenectady, N.Y.
“Scranton has a vibrant professional community that will benefit from the increase in productivity they will experience in our premiere workspace,” Urban Co-Works CEO Jeff Goronkin said. “Many companies are now offering employees hybrid options where they can split their time between working from home and working from the office. Whether professionals are looking for these hybrid work models or are interested in full-time offices, we have a variety of packages tailored just for them. Our industrial chic office solutions will be the first of its kind in Scranton and we are excited to open our doors later this year.”
ARPA funding opportunities for small businesses remain open. Façade improvement grants of up to $10,000 remain open with applications closing in September. Applications are under review for business recovery grants up to $25,000 and Wage Boost grants up to $50,000 over two years. Information about Scranton’s ARPA plan is online at scrantonpa.gov/arpa.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) OF 2021: ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill. The City of Scranton has been awarded $68.7 million in ARPA funds to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. The mission of Scranton’s ARPA program is to give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster equitable wealth generation that targets the needs of Scranton residents.
Last modified: August 2, 2023