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Economic Development

The City’s Economic Development Bureau strives to maximize opportunities for business of all sizes, and natures and the City’s tax base, by diversifying the local economy, stimulating private investment, and generating employment opportunities.  The bureau staff offers technical assistance to businesses looking to relocate or expand within City limits by assisting in site selection, financing, and business development.

Businesses located in or relocating to the City are eligible for an array of incentive programs administered by the Economic Development Bureau.

Contact: (814) 539-2504 Ext. 118

New and expanding businesses throughout the City of Johnstown are eligible to apply for a loan or a micro-loan at a rate of 3%. City loans and micro-loans may only cover a specific percentage of the total project cost. This percentage is determined based on geographic location of the project within the city loan the specific loan program utilized. Applicants will be required to demonstrate a minimum owner equity injection of 5% of the total project cost, as well as a commitment from a third-party lender to make up the percentage of the total project cost not covered by the City and the owner’s equity injection.


Eligible uses include the following:

Land Acquisition

Building Acquisition

Building Construction

Building Renovation

Leasehold Improvements

Purchase of Machinery and Equipment

Purchase of Inventory

Working Capital

Refinancing is not an eligible use.

Terms may vary based on the specifics of each project. Interested parties are strongly advised to speak with city staff prior to the submission of an application to ensure eligibility and to discuss terms.

City Staff shall make the determination as to which loan program is utilized. This determination will be based on loan program guidelines.

All City loans contain job creation requirements. The number of jobs required to be created for a specific loan will be dependent on the amount borrowed and which Loan program was utilized.

All City loans submit a completed application along with all required documentation as determined by city staff. Once an Application is completed application is submitted, a meeting of the City’s Loan Review Committee will be scheduled. Approval or denial of any loan application is at the discretion of the Loan Review Committee.

Applicants may be responsible for closing cost and other fees.

All City loan related questions may be directed to the Economic Development Specialist at (814)539-2504 Ext. 114

Job Development Guidelines
Enterprise Zone Loan Program Guidelines
UDAG Loan Program Guidelines

Loan File Checklist

The Façade Improvement Program is open to all commercial properties within city limits.  Businesses and property owners are offered architectural assistance along with a fifty-fifty match up to $5,000 for improvements to a building’s exterior including signage, surface treatment, windows, and landscaping.

Facade Guidelines

Facade Application

Sections of the City are designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUB Zones). Businesses in these locations receive special consideration for contracting with all federal agencies, including set asides.

A portion of the City is included in the Greater Johnstown Keystone Innovation Zone, a state delineated area where partnerships between higher education institutions and technology based businesses are encouraged.  Businesses who locate in the KIZ can qualify for tax credits.  Those businesses without a tax liability will have the ability to sell their tax credits.

The department of Community and Economic Development has create a checklist that is used at the beginning of a project in order to ensure that all parties (City Staff, developer, project manager, property owner, etc.) understand the scope of the project and the necessary requirements needed to have a successful process and project.


Business Development Checklist


City of Johnstown Entrepreneurship Center 

COJEC provides resources for entrepreneurs, including business planning, marketing, goal setting, and networking tools. Contact: Dan Parisi – [email protected]

150 Gazebo Park
Johnstown, PA 15901


Saint Francis Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The SBDC provides support and guidance to help meet your business goals. They hold workshops & webinars and offer free counseling in business startup, business plan development, accounting, bookkeeping, and more.



Jari’s team provides entrepreneurial development support and coaching to help new entities get established and grow.

245 Market St. Suite 200
Johnstown, PA 15901-2910