Harrisburg, PA – Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin today announced that $519,351 in grants has been awarded to the 10 Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) regions across the state.
“The PREP network plays an integral role in the state’s COVID-19 economic recovery strategy, and since the beginning of the pandemic, our partners have provided vital technical assistance and resources to businesses throughout the commonwealth,” said Sec. Davin. “Pennsylvania’s partners have hundreds of trained and experienced consultants able to counsel businesses and assist in their growth and development, and this supplemental funding will enable them to focus additional efforts in our statewide economic recovery efforts.”
Examples of special initiatives being implemented in Pennsylvania’s PREP regions include:
- The Lehigh Valley PREP network will direct resources to address cybersecurity awareness and study the childcare needs faced by area businesses.
- Northeast and Northern Tier PREP will partner to use funds to expand Get Connected, an e-commerce technical support program for small businesses.
- North Central PREP initiatives will include rapid prototyping assistance and provide counseling and training on 3-D printing, design, and associated business development.
- Southern Alleghenies PREP will assist in the creation of an e-commerce marketplace for regional entrepreneurs to sell their products.
In his 2021-22 budget proposal, Gov. Tom Wolf requested an additional $1.5 million in funding for the PREP network, which includes Small Business Development Centers, Local Development Districts, and Industrial Development Organizations, to be awarded competitively among the partners, requiring regions to be creative and innovative in their applications for service and to partner with institutions of higher education. This will drive greater impacts to accelerator participation, entrepreneurial internships, decreased student outmigration, and business incubation as well as to continue to provide critical services to assist Pennsylvania’s businesses in their economic recovery.
The PREP network consists of trained professionals who offer services such as one-one-one counseling, specialized workshops, online training, and financial incentives. Each regional PREP network coordinates services offered by local economic development service providers and complementary economic and workforce development organizations.
To access these resources and learn more about PREP services in your region, visit DCED’s Business Assistance page.