Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation


Business loans that make sense

Whether your business is starting up or an established multi-million-dollar corporation, LVEDC will find a financing program to expand your business. Our Financing Department will work closely with you to find a program that matches your business’ strategic goals. We’ll even help you complete the paperwork.

For information on any of the programs, below please fill out an inquiry form.

Download our financing brochure.

Federal Programs


The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation is a Certified Development Corporation under the Small Business Administration licensed to provide Section 504 financing to eligible businesses. The purpose of the program is to assist expanding businesses to create or retain jobs. These loans provide second mortgage fixed-asset financing for expanding businesses in participation with bank first mortgages or other approved loan sources. Benefits include lower equity requirement and longer repayment term than generally available from conventional sources. Funds may be used for land and building acquisition, construction or renovation, and major machinery and equipment plus financing fees and project soft costs. Virtually all types of businesses are eligible for this program. For-profit owner-occupied manufacturing, industrial, commercial or retail businesses are eligible. Funds may be used to finance land and building acquisition, construction, renovation, and major machinery and equipment costs. The interest rate is spread above the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond fixed at date of debenture sale for the term of the loan. Loan amounts are 40 percent of project cost up to $1.5 million, up to $2 million for projects meeting a specific public policy, or up to $4 million for manufacturing projects or projects increasing energy efficiency by 10percent or more. Job creation – one job created for every $65,000 of SBA amount.

Statewide Programs


Also known as the Brownfield Program, it provides grants and low-interest loans to companies, private real estate developers and municipalities to perform environmental site assessment and remediation work at former industrial sites. No financing is available to companies or others who have caused the environmental contamination on the property. Funds may be used to finance up to 75 percent of the cost of an environmental assessment or remediation, not to exceed $200,000 for an assessment and $1 million for remediation. Recipients of funds under this program may receive special consideration under other financing


IDP provides grants and low-interest loans to municipalities, economic development organizations and other sponsors to finance the construction of the public and private infrastructure needed for a business to locate or expand at a specific site. The program also provides financing for the infrastructure costs necessary for the redevelopment of former industrial sites, including site clearance and cleanup costs. Maximum amount of financing per project is $1.25 million. Companies or developers must agree to create jobs as a condition of financing.


MELF provides low-interest loans to manufacturing and industrial companies for the acquisition and installation of new or used machinery and equipment or for upgrading existing machinery and equipment. The interest rate is 3 percent. The maximum loan amount available is $500,000 or 50 percent of the total project cost, whichever is less. There is no restriction on the size of the business that may access the funds. Companies must agree to create or preserve jobs as a condition of financing.


PEDFA serves as an issuer of tax-exempt and taxable bonds, both in pooled transactions and as stand-alone transactions on behalf of Commonwealth businesses, some nonprofits and municipalities. Minimum project amount is $400,000. Borrowers seeking bond financing through PEDFA generally must secure additional credit enhancement for the bonds, such as a bank letter of credit. PEDFA bonds typically provide interest rates for borrowers that are well below interest rates charged by commercial banks.


The EEP, offered through the Small Business Financing office, can be used for working capital or accounts receivable financing. It operates in conjunction with the Export-Import Bank of the United States. All businesses that need financing for export transactions are eligible, provided that they have been in operation for at least 12 months. Working capital funds can be used to acquire inventory, pay for direct and indirect costs used for the manufacturer, purchase goods or for the provision of service and support standby letters of credit. The accounts receivable financing can be used to finance accounts receivable up to 180 days from the date of arrival at the port of importation.


PIDA offers low-interest loans through industrial development corporations to businesses for land and building acquisition, construction and renovation that results in the creation or preservation of jobs. Interest rate is 4 percent; subject to change. The lowest interest rate is available for projects that are located in enterprise zones and other targeted communities. Advanced technology projects receive an interest rate of 3 percent. Maximum loan amount is $2.25 million.


PMBDA offers low-interest loans to businesses that are owned and operated by minorities. There are minimal restrictions on the type of businesses that may apply for loans. Interest rates are one-half of prime but not less than 4 percent. Maximum loan amount is $500,000 or $750,000, depending upon whether the business is located in a targeted area and depending upon the nature of the business. PMBDA also operates a loan guarantee program similar to PennCAPs but targeted toward the minority business community.


Small Business First provides low-interest loans to small businesses of 100 employees or less for land and building acquisition, construction, and machinery and equipment purchases. It also provides working capital for a for-profit project or venture by any small business enterprise unless the project or venture relates to mercantile, commercial, retail operations or personal professional services. The program also provides financing for (1) small businesses that need to come into compliance with environmental regulations or that are involved in municipal or commercial recycling; (2) small businesses that are impacted by defense conversion; and (3) certain small businesses such as restaurants, hotels and motels. Maximum loan amount is $200,000. Interest rate is 3 percent. Companies must agree to create or preserve jobs as a condition of financing.


This program is to be used to assist Pennsylvania’s agricultural production enterprises to expand and modernize. This program is designed to assist a person or a for-profit business entity that has no more than 100 employees and is involved in the management and use of a normal agricultural operation for the production of a farm commodity. Projects must involve agricultrual operations of at least 10 continguous acres in size or with an anticipated yearly gross income of at least $10,000. The low-interest (3%) loan can be used for land, building, machinery, equipment and working capital. Maximum loan amount is $200,000 and there is no job requirement.


The Small Business First Community Economic Development Loans (CED), authorized by Act 100 of 1998, are intended to enhance the Project for Community Building by authorizing loans for small businesses (100 or fewer employees) in areas that are eligible for Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) coverage. These loan funds are available for eligible small businesses at a low interest rate of 2 percent with flexible repayment terms. Area loan organizations, CDFIs and other locally based organizations designated by the Secretary will be able to access funds within this loan pool on behalf of their clients. Maximum loan amount is $200,000 or 50 percent of the total eligible projects cost, whichever is less. CED loans will be fixed at an annual interest rate of 2 percent.


The Pollution Prevention Assistance Account is a loan program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) that helps Pennsylvania small businesses implement pollution prevention and energy-efficiency projects. DEP and DCED will award up to $2 million annually to businesses implementing pollution prevention and energy-efficient technologies. Businesses may borrow up to $50,000 but not more than 75 percent of the total eligible project costs. Loan terms will not exceed seven years, and annual interest rates will remain at 2 percent.

Regional Programs


The Lehigh Valley Regional Loan Pool is primarily focused on development and improvement of businesses in the cities of Easton, Bethlehem and Allentown. The program enable job creation and retention by proving an incentive for economically-viable businesses to locate, expand and remain in the Lehigh Valley.

Eligible uses:
  • Land and building acquisition
  • Building renovation or rehabilitation
  • Machinery and equipment
  • 40 percent of a total project cost with a minimum of $250,000 and a maximum of $2 million
  • Typical loan packages require a minimum of 20 percent equity investment in project by the applicant
  • Interest rate is flexible and set on a case-by-case basis
  • Loan terms are not designed to provide permanent long-term financing and are generally limited to five years with the option for longer amortization
  • Priority is given to projects located in the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton


RLF was created to provide below-prime-rate fixed financing for small businesses in the Lehigh Valley who have been turned down by other lending institutions. The money can be used for land, buildings, renovations, equipment, machinery and working capital. Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $50,000 or 30 percent of the total project cost, whichever is less. The interest rate is half of Wall Street Journal prime plus 1.5 percent . Once the RLF funding is approved, other financing services must be found that will fund the remainder of the project cost. On most projects, 10 percent equity is required.


LCIDA and NCIDA serve as issuers of tax-exempt bonds or mortgages for land and building acquisition, construction, renovation, new machinery and equipment. Total capital expenditure cannot exceed $20 million for for profit corporations, and the interest rate is well below conventional commercial rates. Eligible businesses include manufacturers, certain 501 (c) 3 organizations, and exempt facilities, i.e. solid waste disposal.

City Programs


This program provides financing to entrepreneurs who start or expand neighborhood-based businesses that provide goods and services to low and moderate income census tracts, any legal business entity creating or retaining jobs where 51 percent of the jobs are held by low- and moderate- income residents, nonprofit organizations providing community-based services in low- and moderate- income neighborhoods and housing developers who develop affordable housing in low and moderate income census tracts. Funds may be used for land and building acquisition, building construction and renovation, machinery and equipment, inventory and working capital. Minimum loan amount is $10,000, and the ADCO board establishes the interest rate based on the needs of the applicant.

LVEDC Loans & Interest Rates

Details Here

Type Rate Date
PIDA 2.25% 5/21/15
SBA 504 4.850% (20 years) 4.374% (10 years) 5/21/15
PIDA: SBFF 3% 5/21/15
PIDA: MELF 3% 5/21/15