The Flagship Fund

Micro-Grant Program


The Flagship Fund is the City of Erie’s first ever Micro-Grant program for small businesses.  It was established to provide financial assistance to support market-ready products and services that enhance the City of Erie’s reputation for innovation and creativity; contribute to a thriving, sustainable business culture; and improve the quality of life for residents of the City of Erie.

Start-ups and established businesses from any sector are welcome to apply as long as you have a great idea and a sound business proposal that is going to proceed regardless of grant funding.

Funding awards will be granted up to $5,000.  A 1:1 funding match is required.  Grant dollars will be awarded on a reimbursement basis.

    • ​To encourage the establishment, growth and retention of sustainable businesses which enhance the City’s reputation for innovation, creativity, business vitality, diversity, inclusiveness, quality of life and environmental sustainability.
    • ​To create employment opportunities and increase the level of business investment in the City of Erie.
    • ​To support innovative businesses that demonstrate solid market potential and a sound business model, including long-term financial viability.

  •  WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

    • A registered business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
    • With a physical address within the City of Erie;
    • The applicant must have 10 or fewer employees
    • The applicant must make less than $1M in annual revenue
    • In addition, member-based organizations and associations are able to apply given they have a mission or vision to improve the business climate in the City of Erie.

    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 with over 10 employees
    • Applicants who make more than $1M in annual revenue
    • Franchise owners
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Membership-based organizations and/or associations that DO NOT have a business-related mission or vision.
    • 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 in the last 5 years

    ELIGIBLE USE OF FUND

    Projects must be completed within one year 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:

    • Marketing and Advertising expenses
    • Façade | Building Improvements
    • Specialized Equipment
    • Computer Hardware | Software
    • Website Development
    • Consultation Costs
    • Security Cameras
    • Lighting | Exterior Signage
    • Internship Stipend
    • Strategic | Succession | New Market Development planning

    • 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 selection committee members:
      • 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
      • Ben Franklin Technology Partners Portfolio Manager, Brian Slawin
      • Flagship Opportunity Zone Development Co. Director of Capital Formation, Brett Wiler
      • Erie Innovation District President, Karl Sanchack
      • Urban Erie Community Development Corporation, Gary Horton

      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.

  • Apply Online

    Download Application

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