The ARC PA MAKES Mini-Grant Program, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), is designed to assist the coal impacted community’s response to negative economic factors. Assistance focuses on diversifying and growing small and medium sized manufacturers through strategic efforts to build capacity, improve efficiencies and demand locally, stimulate job creation, and drive economic impact.
Grant funds can be used for the implementation of Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT), as well as business growth services. AMT is the use of new process/materials to do things faster, cheaper and with higher quality results. This can include technologies for continuous improvement and leveraging access to high speed internet to reach new customers or markets, receive orders, collaborate on new designs, share information, track orders, and/or monitor equipment and productivity. It can also include technologies to manage risks such as cyber threats, as well as disruptive technologies such as additive manufacturing. Business growth services includes projects such as lead generation, market intelligence, and strategic planning.
Applicants may request a grant up to 33% of the total project cost from a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $10,000 (website development and website related projects are limited to a maximum grant award of $5,000). Eligible companies need to work with NWIRC to complete the technical assessment and assistance process.
Applicants requesting mini-grant assistance through this program must meet all of the criteria listed below to be eligible for funding consideration:
- Be a privately held small to medium sized manufacturer located within ARC’s 52 county region of Pennsylvania. (Small-medium sized manufacturers are defined as those having less than 250 employees per location, and registered in D&B with a NAICS code beginning with 31-33.)
- Have not received an ARC mini grant through the previous round of the SWPA PA Makes mini-grant Program.
- Have completed a technical assessment and assistance process by NWIRC
- Have a clearly defined and ready advanced technology or improvement project which aligns with the recommendations resulting from the technical assessment and assistance process.
- Applicants must be able to cover the total project costs until grant reimbursement is issued. Grant reimbursement requires an invoice accompanied by proof of payment documentation equivalent to the total project costs including match. Vendor invoices with corresponding cancelled checks documenting payment are required for reimbursement.
- Initiate the project no earlier than February 1, 2019 and complete implementation with company payment of the total project costs by January 31, 2020
- Participate in post-award surveying to collect information on project status, economic impacts, and other information as requested.
Some examples of the types of projects which are NOT eligible for grant funding include projects that solely focused on training or the purchase of equipment.