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Some Pennsylvania business owners could take advantage of $20 million in state funding

STEELTON, Pa. — Some small business owners in Pennsylvania could soon apply for a share of $20 million approved as part of the state budget to invest in Historically Disadvantaged Businesses.

Leaders with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and Democratic Lt. Gov. Austin Davis visited Candle Kreationz in Steelton on Monday to highlight the funding, which will be invested toward businesses with minority, woman, or veteran ownership.

Jonette "Star" Dent hosted the officials at her candle shop, which she started two months ago, and hopes to take advantage of the state funding to help boost her dream business.

"I worked hard for it, and I paid out of pocket because there wasn't a program like that available to me, so it was just savings and doing it myself," she said.

The state's economic development agency previously administered some $100 million in federal funding for grants through a similar program approved as part of COVID-19 relief efforts.

DCED Secretary Rick Siger said details have yet to be fully fleshed out on how the money will be made available when someone can apply for it, and who is eligible.

But he and the department are hopeful to begin sending out the money by the end of the year.

"Our team is working with great urgency ... our team is working on the guidelines that will outline those pieces," he said.


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