The Flagship Fund

Micro-Grant Program

The Flagship Fund is the City of Erie’s first ever Micro-Grant program for small businesses. Established to provide financial assistance to support market-ready products and services, it also serves to 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 with 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.

Deadline for the current round of applications is Monday, October 16th, 2023.

A 1:1 funding match is required and 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.


  • A registered business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • With a physical address within the City of Erie
  • Preference given to businesses with 25 or fewer employees
  • Preference given to for-profit entities, however non-profit organizations may apply
  • 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
  • Locally owned franchise owners may 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
  • Franchise owners – not locally owned
  • 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 three (3) years


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 in a competitive manner, during pre-determined application periods 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:
    • Joe Schember, Mayor
    • Renee Lamis, Chief of Staff
    • Chris Groner, Economic Development Specialist
    • Jackie Spry, Director of Planning & Neighborhood Resources
    • Victoria Lewek, Grants Administrator
  • 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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