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County Establishes SBA Fee Waiver Program

A program designed to promote economic development, spur local growth, and encourage the private sector to create family-sustaining jobs in our community has been created by the Lackawanna County Commissioners. 

                Commissioners Corey D. O’Brien, Jim Wansacz and Patrick O’Malley unveiled today the framework for the Lackawanna County SBA Fee Waiver Program that will go into effect on January 1, 2013. 

                The County has allocated funds from its $1.25 million economic development budget line item for the SBA program to assist in the projects of qualified businesses working with a qualified lender.

                “This type of program has worked well here in the past,” explained Commissioner Jim Wansacz.  “The community witnessed a jump in SBA loan transactions when the waiver was offered previously.  It helped to create jobs, diversify our economy and generate revenue for the community-at-large.  This is a good way to spur private sector growth for the area.”                   

“The 9.1% seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Lackawanna County is unacceptable.  We have to get people back to work,” said Commissioner O’Brien.  “The waiver program would be beneficial to businesses looking to expand or set-up operations in Lackawanna County.  It’s also a great way to diversify our economy and put our people back to work.  This is good business and that’s why we are involved in the program aimed at helping our community and residents.” 

                “We want to help businesses prosper because if they do everyone benefits.  We need jobs here, and while this is a small step, it’s a start towards building our community and getting new opportunities here,” stated Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley. 

                For a business to participate in the waiver program, it must:

                                Be approved by the SBA;

Be approved by a local lending institution;

Deploy 100% of the SBA loan proceedings in Lackawanna County;    

Meet the SBA 7(a) Loan Program job requirements and all other SBA and lending institution stipulations.  (Generally, a business must create or retain one job for every $65,000 guaranteed by the SBA.  Small manufacturers must create or retain a ratio of one job for every $100,000.)     

                In order for a business to participate in this program, the firm’s qualified lender must submit an application form at least (15) days prior to the loan closing along with a corporate resolution agreeing to the terms and conditions of the program, an approved business plan, and SBA loan documents. 

                All of the materials should be sent to the SBA Fee Waiver Program coordinator in the County’s Economic Development Department.  Once the vetting and approval process is complete, a check from the County for the fees will be provided to the qualified lender to be held in escrow until the closing of the loan.  As part of the process, the County will request a progress report and financial and/or performance audit.  The County is to receive a refund on any overpayments and will also recoup its funds should the grantee fail to adhere to the terms and conditions of the loan program.  

                For further information on the SBA Fee Waiver Program, contact Mary Liz Donato, Coordinator, at (570) 963-6830.

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