Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 1550, PN 4270 (Milne, Chester, R-167) into law as Act 161 of 2014. The legislation represents the successful culmination of the collective efforts of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association (PEDA), the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the General Assembly, which passed it unanimously.
Recently, at a ceremonial bill signing at the offices of GasBreaker, Inc., a Malvern-based company that sells its proprietary products in forty-seven states and twenty countries around the world, PEDA President Dave Black remarked, “The intent of this legislation is to better assist and respond to the financial needs of the PA business community and to expand upon PA's economic competitiveness. It recognizes that economic development is a partnership between state government, economic development organizations and the private sector and is designed to strengthen that partnership.”
Black was joined by Rep. Duane Milne, the legislation’s main sponsor, DCED Secretary Alan Walker and his legislative and policy staff, and PEDA Executive team members Laura Goodrich-Cairns, PEDA Economic Development Committee Chair, Vito G. Gallo, PEDA Advocacy Committee Chairman, and Josh Skopp, PEDA Executive Director. Following the bill signing, attendees toured facilities at GasBreaker, Inc. a growing company that will benefit from the legislation.
HB 1550 will create a streamlined, customer-friendly, one-stop-shop for Pennsylvania business financing needs. The legislation merges the Small Business First (SBF), Community Economic Development (CED), Export Financing (EFP), Pollution Prevention Assistance Account (PPAA) and Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund (MELF) programs into the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) to create a single point of entry to support a number of business growth needs including: site development, infrastructure improvements, machinery and equipment acquisition, and capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Each year PEDA undertakes a rigorous process to determine its legislative priorities for the year. The PEDA Advocacy Committee initiates the process, with the PEDA Executive Committee and Board giving final approval. Vito G. Gallo, AVP for Government Relations at Lehigh University, who leads the committee, stated, "We are proud to celebrate the success of one of our top legislative priorities for 2014, especially one that will benefit PEDA members greatly and improve the business climate in Pennsylvania."
Members of the PEDA team are working with DCED on the implementation of HB 1550, which contains certain sections that take effect immediately. PEDA will continue to provide updates related to the initiative, which can also be viewed at newPA.com/PIDA.