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Discover Everything Carbon County - Business & Tourism
Your Guide to Jim Thorpe, Lehighton, Palmerton, Penn-Kidder, Weatherly & Panther Valley.

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economic development news

Out & About with Carbon County Economic Development

Marlyn Kissner, CCEDC Executive Director, and Kathy Henderson, Director of Economic Development for Carbon County, had the opportunity to join Gov. Wolf on a tour of downtown Jim Thorpe on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. Both had a chance to speak with him about the importance of various loan programs and overall support for our small businesses in the county. 

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Question

To buy or not to buy that is the question every business owner asks themselves.  Is it better to lease my space where I can grow my business without the headaches of owning the property or purchase a building where I can grow equity in the real estate?  

Cash flow is the biggest concern of every business.  There are so many unknowns out there that purchasing the space to run your business may not be the best way to go...yet.

Owning real estate can be a great investment if you're ready.  You can grow equity and have something tangible to show for it but when you're just starting out you may not want or need the added stress of a large mortgage payment on top of trying to get your business off the ground.  There's a lot of responsibility that goes along with owning a building.  

Startups may do better leasing when they start out in order to save money and build up their cash reserves.  The first three years of a business are usually the hardest cash flow wise.  The rule of thumb is to have a minimum of 6 months operating expenses in reserve for unforeseen events.

Leasing a space can give you more flexibility when it comes to judging the best location to establish your business.  You will be building a payment history and if you outgrow the location or need to find that the space just isn't working for you, you can usually move.  

Another option is a lease-purchase agreement.  This is where a portion of the lease payment or rent is applied to the purchase price of the leased property.  When the full "sale" price is paid to the property owner or landlord, the title is transferred to the buyer or tenant (lessee).  This type of arrangement can be an option for new businesses as they don't have the financial history that is necessary to obtain a regular mortgage.  

You also need to make sure there is a way out of the transaction so that if your business fails you are not stuck with a long-term obligation. Hire a good real estate attorney to draw up an agreement that is beneficial to you and your business and contact your financial advisor to see what your tax exposure will be in this type of scenario.    

The other issue is zoning.  Make sure before you sign anything whether you are leasing or purchasing that the location is properly zoned for your business.  If it is not zoned for what you want to do, you will have to go for a variance.  This can become costly and time consuming for your business and set your timeline back.

Whatever path you decide to take, make sure you have good advisors around you to protect your exposures and think with your head and not your heart.  

Looking to Expand and Grow Your Business and Need Financial Assistance?

The CCEDC Can Help!


Starting a new business certainly has its challenges.  You come up with an idea you do the research even find a great location.  Now how are you going to bankroll it?

Remember that usually the first dollars into your business are yours.  Perhaps you dipped into savings or cashed in your 401k or maxed out your credit cards.  You may even have worked your regular job and moonlighted at your business to get it off the ground but now you’re ready for the next step; actually going out on your own.

At the startup stage, angel investors are hard to find and asking for help to find grants, or ‘free money,’ is a common request that my office handles all the time. While there may be some small grants, these are not common. 

New businesses have a hard time getting funding from a bank because they don’t have the financial history of actually being in business.  There is really nothing concrete to show a lender that your business is successful much less be able to pay back a loan. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

CLICK HERE to Learn More and for Application.


Carbon County Hotel Tax Grant


Next Deadlines for Submission are February 28th & September 30th.


Room Tax Allocation Committee (RTAC) 
As Authorized by: The Office of the Carbon County Commissioners


The Carbon County Commissioners have delegated to the RTAC certain responsibilities concerning the solicitation, evaluation and recommendation of tourism-related projects to be funded in part by proceeds from the Hotel Room Tax imposed throughout the County.

This Committee has developed and submitted to the Office of the County of Commissioners a protocol that include: general guidelines, guidelines, application criteria and an evaluation procedure.

General Guidelines


1. Twice annually, the RTAC will provide releases to the media and place advertisements informing eligible non-profit organizations in Carbon County of the availability of grants for tourism-related projects (that primarily bring tourists into Carbon County and encourage overnight stays) and soliciting their inquiries.

2. The RTAC will provide an application to interested organizations together with a timetable of deadlines for submission.

3. Following each deadline, the RTAC will convene to evaluate all applications that have been received and will record its recommendations for funding. 

4.The RTAC will send the report to the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Inc. (PMVB) for final approval per ACT 18.

5. Invoices from vendors for marketing expenditures will be sent directly to PMVB for payment up to the amount approved by the RTAC.

6. Funding recipients will be required to submit a summary of all expenditures and pertinent project information to the RTAC within 12 months of the conclusion of the funded project.

7. PMVB Branding guidelines will be provided. Branding materials should be added to print/digital advertising including, but not limited to, websites, billboards and brochures. Any questions should be directed to Brian Bossuyt, Director of Marketing (PMVB) bbossuyt@poconos.org 570-421-5791 x 3120.

8. Upon approval of funding, marketing invoices should be sent to Staci Barkalow, CFO (PMVB) staci@poconos.org for payment.

Please be sure to indicate the organizations name along with your contact information on each marketing invoice.