Business Financing

The mission of the Northwest Commission’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) is to stimulate the creation and the expansion of small for-profit businesses for the purposes of creating new jobs and retaining existing jobs in the 8-county region of Clarion County, Crawford County, Erie County, Forest County, Lawrence County, Mercer County, Venango County and Warren County. The RLF is able to assist small business through the use of fixed low-interest loans, structured to allow businesses the ability to borrow based on the number of jobs created or retained. The Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) is comprised of funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Economic Development Administration (EDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In addition, as a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO), the Northwest Commission works with the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to market and administer the loan financing programs available through the Commonwealth.

Maximum Loan

  • Loan programs will finance up to 50% of total eligible project costs.

Eligible Uses

  • Land acquisition, preparation and associated expenses
  • Building acquisition, construction or renovation
  • Machinery and equipment purchases (new or used) and related expenses
  • Working Capital


  • Land & Building – up to 15 years
  • Machinery and Equipment – up to 10 years
  • Working Capital – 3 years


  • Revolving loan fund financing is available to eligible small businesses at an interest rate of 3.95%  fixed for the term of the loan. 
  • The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) Board has made financing available to qualifying Pennsylvania small businesses at a 2.44%  rate fixed for the term of the loan.
  • These rates are good for completed loan applications received through June 30, 2020.

Eligible Applicant

  • Manufacturing or Industrial Business
  • Hospitality Enterprise
  • Commercial & Service Enterprise
  • Child Day-Care
  • Agriculture Enterprise or Agriculture Producer


  • Must collateralize asset(s) financed
  • Will subordinate lien position to bank
  • Personal and corporate guarantees may be required

Application and/or closing fees are charged at the discretion of the Northwest Commission but will not be greater than two percent (2%) of the loan amount. The Northwest Commission’s closing documents are standard documents. Any modifications to these documents will result in an additional legal fee charged directly to the borrower.

COVID-19 Business Support

The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program was established to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in sectors that are vital to every Pennsylvanians’ existence. The program will help employers provide hazard pay for their employees to retain current employees. This reimbursement-based grant is for employers who will be offering hazard pay over the eligible program period.


Sample Employer Sheet

Survey Questions

Businesses, healthcare non-profits, public transportation agencies, and certified economic development organizations may apply for funding for employers located and operating in Pennsylvania within one of the following eligible industries:

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Food Retail Facilities
  • Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
  • Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
  • Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings

Additional details about eligible industries and employers can be found in the program guidelines.

Grant funds may be used for hazard pay (as defined below) for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime. Funds may only be used to pay hazard pay for eligible employees for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020 through October 24, 2020. Hazard pay means additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship, in each case that is related to COVID-19.

Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee. The hazard pay must be paid to the eligible employee over the 10-week period of August 16, 2020 through October 24, 2020 as a $3/hour hazard pay increase to their regular pay rate. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location ($600,000 maximum grant per location). No Employer may receive more than $3,000,000 of the funding under the COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant Program.

How to Apply
Applications will be received between July 16, 2020 and July 31, 2020. To apply for funding, applications must be submitted through the Electronic Single Application (ESA). If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact Rebecca Beach at 814.677.4800 x115 or

SBA/EIDL Fact Sheet

There is a customer service line established for businesses: 1-866-466-3972

There is a resource account set up to help businesses determine if they are open/closed.

If you are not on the list as a yes, you will have to complete a waiver form for determination.  Please see link to our waiver form is now live. Please fill out and submit at your earliest convenience:

Here is the link to DOH’s COVID 19 update.


For additional information  please contact:  
Rebecca Beach
Loan Program Manager

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