Commodore Fund


The Commodore Fund is the City of Erie’s business development assistance program for real estate development, equipment investment, and business expansion to companies that are investing and creating jobs in the City, bringing market-ready products and services.

Recipients will embody the City of Erie’s reputation for innovation and creativity, a thriving and sustainable business culture, and improving quality of life for our residents.

All sectors are welcome to apply.

Grant dollars will be awarded on a reimbursement basis and new jobs created will be verified. A 1:1 funding match is required.

    • To encourage the establishment, growth and retention of sustainable businesses which enhance the City of Erie’s reputation for innovation, creativity, business vitality, diversity, inclusiveness, quality of life and environmental sustainability.
    • To create employment opportunities and increase the level of current business investment in the City of Erie.
    • To contribute to a thriving business climate and culture in the City that encourages future activity and investment.

  • WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

    • A registered business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    • An applicant with a physical address within the City of Erie or in the process of locating into the City of Erie
    • A business with an expansion, investment or relocation that creates a minimum of 5 new jobs for requests of up to $10,000; 10 new jobs for assistance of up to $25,000. Average pay of newly created positions must equal at least 150% of Pennsylvania minimum wage.

    WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

    • Companies not registered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    • Applicant not physically located in the City of Erie, or planning to relocate jobs outside of the City in the next two years
    • Applicants creating fewer than 5 verifiable new jobs
    • Franchise owners
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Companies on the federal or state debarment lists
    • Companies with delinquent taxes, fines, or outstanding violations with the City
    • Owners who may have a conflict of interest in receiving grants from the City
    • Companies that have already received a grant from The Flagship Fund and/or The Commodore Fund in the last 5 years

    Eligible Use of Funds

    Projects must be completed within two years of award announcement from the City unless otherwise approved.  Requested costs must be reasonable, and the City reserves the right to review proposed estimates, quotes, or other financial information directly related to the grant project.

    Eligible uses include:

    • Building Acquisitions, Renovations, Additions and Improvements
    • Land Acquisitions, Site Development, Environmental Study and Compliance Costs
    • Construction Costs
    • Infrastructure and Utility Upgrades and Improvements
    • Permitting, Professional Services and Consultation Costs
    • Security Systems and Cameras
    • Lighting | Exterior Signage
    • Closing and Transfer Costs
    • Specialized Equipment
    • Computer Hardware | Software
    • Relocation Expenses

    • Grants will be juried by a panel of Economic Development Officers.
    • Grants will be committed and funded on a first-come, first-served basis based on availability of funds.
    • Applicants will be notified in writing of acceptance or denial of projects
    • The final grant award amount will be determined by the following members of City Hall:

    Mayor, Joe Schember

    Chief of Staff, Renee Lamis

    Director of Economic and Community Development, Chris Groner

    Business Development Officer, Jennifer Hoffman

    City Council Liaison to Department of Economic & Community Development

    • If the applicant accepts the award, a representative from the City of Erie will contact the owner to explain next steps in the process (contract agreement / invoicing / etc.)

    *The City reserves the right to deny approval of any application for reasons including, but not limited to, potential duplication of other available business assistance programs, competitiveness of applications received, modifications to grant criteria, etc.

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