The Business Financing Program was established to support the start-up and expansion activities of small businesses which will enhance the regional economy through the creation and retention of full-time jobs.  This initiative provides access to capital to meet the credit needs of new and existing businesses which are not able to entirely finance projects through conventional lenders and their equity contribution.  The program is not intended to compete with or replace bank financing, but designed to complement it through loans which are offered at below-market, fixed interest rates and the ability to borrow based on the number of jobs to be created and retained. To meet these objectives, North Central administers several Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) with funding from federal sources that include the Appalachian Regional Commission, Economic Development Administration, State Small Business Credit Initiative, and USDA Rural Development.  The Commission is also designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as a Certified Economic Development Organization to administer and access state loans from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA).

Eligible Business

For-profit businesses operating as sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, S-Corporations or C-Corporations

Located in Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean or Potter Counties

Enterprise Types:

  • Manufacturing/Industrial
  • Healthcare
  • Wholesale/Distribution
  • Commercial
  • Service
  • Hospitality/Tourism
  • Recycling
  • Computer-Related Services
  • Research & Development
  • Agricultural Processing/Production
  • Construction
  • Defense Conversion
  • Child Daycare

Uses & Terms

Loan payments are required to be submitted via ACH withdrawals

Real Estate – up to 15 years
Machinery & Equipment – up to 10 years depending on the useful life
Working Capital – up to 3 years

Loans Amounts

Up to 50% of total project costs
RLF maximum loan amount is $400,000

Interest Rates

Rates are below prime and fixed throughout the term of the loan
Current rate is 4.00% for applications received through September 30, 2023

Job Requirements

One full-time job either created or retained for every $75,000 borrowed


Assets financed must collateralize loan and will be secured at the highest position available.
Additional collateral may be required including assignment of life insurance on owners and/or key personnel
Personal/corporate guarantees of owners/shareholders with 20% or greater ownership in the business
Hazard insurance required on secured assets


No application fee
Closing fee of 1.5% of loan amount
Legal costs including document preparation and UCC filing fees
No penalty for early repayment

Review Process

Business Financing Staff will work with you and your bank to structure a loan package to finance your project.  Completed loan applications including all required information are presented to the North Central Loan Review Committee for credit decisions on the second Thursday of every month.  Loan requests that are recommended for approval by the Committee are forwarded to the  Board of Directors on the fourth Wednesday of every month for final approval to lend.  A commitment letter with the terms and conditions is issued to the borrower for concurrence and signature.  Upon receipt of the executed letter, closing can be scheduled.

Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA)

As a designated Certified Economic Development Organization for the state lending program, North Central also has the ability to package and underwrite loans for submission to PIDA to access capital for businesses.  In addition to the eligible enterprises listed above, PIDA is also able to provide financing for multi-tenant facility and industrial park projects.

Maximum lending amounts and participation rates are determined by several factors including the proposed use of PIDA funds, enterprise type, amount of matching financing sources outside of PIDA and number of full-time jobs to be created and/or retained.

More information on PIDA can be found at:

Microloan Program

North Central also offers microloans up to $50,000 to new and emerging businesses with 10 employees or less.  The interest rate is fixed at 5.00% for the term of the loan. Microloan Fund can function as the sole lender for a project or be combined with other lending sources.

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Hibbard, Loan Program Director
(814) 773-3162 ext. 3049