The City’s Economic Development Bureau strives to maximize opportunities for business of all sizes and natures and the City’s tax base by diversifying the local economy, stimulating private investment, and generating employment opportunities. The bureau staff offers technical assistance to businesses looking to relocate or expand within City limits by assisting in site selection, financing, and business development.
Businesses located in or relocating to the City are eligible for an array of incentive programs administered by the Economic Development Bureau. The following details each program and its eligibility and regulations.
The City offers four low interest loan programs at 3% interest for new and expanding businesses throughout the City.
- Jobs Development Loan Program (JDL) Loan Guidelines
- Micro-enterprise Jobs Development Loan Program (Micro JDL)
- Enterprise Development Loan Program (EZL) Loan Guidelines
- Loan Application
Loan Review Committee
Façade Improvement Program
The Façade Improvement Program is open to all commercial properties within city limits. Businesses and property owners are offered architectural assistance along with a fifty-fifty match up to $5,000 for improvements to a building’s exterior including signage, surface treatment, windows, and landscaping.
A majority of the City’s neighborhoods including the Central Business District are located in the City’s state designated Enterprise Zone. Businesses located in the Enterprise Zone can receive special consideration for state contracting opportunities.
Sections of the City are designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUB Zones). Businesses in these locations receive special consideration for contracting with all federal agencies, including set asides.
Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ)
A portion of the City is included in the Greater Johnstown Keystone Innovation Zone, a state delineated area where partnerships between higher education institutions and technology based businesses are encouraged. Businesses who locate in the KIZ can qualify for tax credits. Those businesses without a tax liability will have the ability to sell their tax credits.
Business Development Checklist
The department of Community and Economic Development has create a checklist that is used at the beginning of a project in order to ensure that all parties (City Staff, developer, project manager, property owner, etc.) understand the scope of the project and the necessary requirements needed to have a successful process and project.