Wolf Administration Urges Pennsylvanians to Support Their Favorite Local Shops

Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil WeaverCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

SCRANTON, PA — As Small Business Week in Pennsylvania came to an end on Friday, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver highlighted the importance of small businesses in the commonwealth and encouraged Pennsylvanians to support their favorite local shops.

“Small Business Week is a great time to celebrate the more than 1 million small businesses that employ about 2.5 million workers in the commonwealth,” said Acting Secretary Weaver. “I hope Pennsylvanians will take this week as an opportunity to support their favorite local businesses by visiting, shopping online, providing positive online reviews and recommendations, and tagging them on social media. We should do all that we can to support small businesses this week, and every week – they are the backbone of our economy.”

Weaver was joined by Mayor Paige Cognetti and others on a walking tour this afternoon in downtown Scranton. The tour celebrated the diversity and impact of small businesses on Pennsylvania’s economy and communities.

“I am pleased to join Acting Secretary Weaver… to tour the businesses that are vital to Scranton’s economy,” said Mayor Cognetti. “These local entrepreneurs bring innovation to our community and are the key to our future growth.”

Since 2015, the Wolf Administration has created a number of programs to help women and minority-owned businesses. These include the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority (PMBDA), which provides low-interest loans to businesses owned and operated by ethnic minorities; the Small Diverse Business Capital Access Program (SDBCA), which provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to small diverse businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs within the commonwealth; and the Business Opportunities Fund (BOF) to help disadvantaged and small diverse businesses access financing.

The following local businesses were highlighted during Friday’s tour in Scranton:

  • RD Salon & BlowDry Bar – a hair salon
  • The Giving Tree – a wellness center
  • Commonwealth Coffeehouse – a coffeehouse and restaurant
  • Pink Pedal – a clothing boutique
  • Adezzo – a coffee shop and lounge

As part of Small Business Week, DCED is visited local businesses during walking tours in several cities across the commonwealth including Reading, Philadelphia, Bedford, Erie, and Zelienople. The tours are celebrating the contributions small businesses make to the culture and fabric of the communities in which they reside.

Diversity and Impact of Small Businesses in PA
  • 39.4 percent of small business owners are women
  • 16.6 percent are racial minorities
  • 4.2 percent are Hispanics/Latinos
  • 6.3 percent are veterans
  • 13,690, or 88.2 percent, of Pennsylvania firms that exported goods in 2019 were small businesses – and small firms exported goods worth $12.5 billion
  • For every $100 spent at a small business, $48 goes back into the local economy in which the business is located
State Resources for Small Businesses

DCED and their partner networks across the commonwealth offer many resources to help small businesses grow.

  • The PA Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) is the first point of contact for Pennsylvania business development. The BOSS team helps connect and guide businesses through all stages of development — from planning and startup to operating and expanding.
  • The 16 Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) serve all 67 counties and provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions on how to start and grow their businesses. The SBDCs are funded in part through DCED.
  • The Ben Franklin Technology Partners provide both early-stage, technology-based firms and established manufacturers with funding, business and technical expertise, and access to a network of innovative, expert resources.
  • The PA Office of International Business Development can assist small businesses looking to export goods to foreign markets.

For more information about Small Business Week, visit the DCED website.

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