Apr. 24, 2020

HARRISBURG – Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Erie) announced today that new funding is available to help technology-based companies impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The funding is available through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

DCED announced that the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) approved the disbursement of $1 million in funding to each of the four Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP), which will then match that funding with $1 million. The funds will be delivered to each BFTP through a Technology Development grant. The BFTP will identify eligible projects and will provide capital to existing startup clients experiencing hardships due to the impact of COVID-19.

Additionally, the department announced that the Venture Capital Revolving Loan Account funds can be used to make loans to venture capital funds that invest in technology companies in Pennsylvania. The funds will be delivered through loans to existing venture capital firms in the BFTDA portfolio in amounts ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. To deploy capital quickly, BFTDA venture managers will be required to identify specific COVID-19 impacted companies that, by way of the BFTDA capital infusion, will have an opportunity to remain in operation through this economic downturn.

Finally, DCED also announced that Manufacturing Innovation Program (MIP) funds are available to encourage and assist university researchers as they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Through the COVID-19 Challenge program, DCED will engage Pennsylvania colleges and universities in the rapid development and deployment of new technologies, products and processes with the potential to positively impact the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. DCED is soliciting proposals from accredited Pennsylvania colleges and universities for projects that fit within the program guidelines and address the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19. According to DCED, this program will be funded through the PA Manufacturing Program.

Representative Curt Sonney
4th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives