How it's done
The business climate is the general economic environment that local businesses operate in. Reviewing and understanding the local business climate provides valuable insights about the economy, costs, risks, and incentives that may impact the success of your business. This activity will guide you to better understand the business climate in Erie County and help you answer the following fundamental questions.
What is the business climate in Erie County?
We have compiled the most important aspects of Erie County’s business climate as an interactive dashboard below. This dashboard provides valuable economic, resident, household, dwelling and development indicators that may influence the success of your business.
Resident Indicator Population Growth Chart
What costs and assistance should I know about?
Whether you have a new or existing business it is critical to be aware of costs, incentives and grants that impact your business. This dashboard provides you with a snapshot of the major costs of conducting business in Erie County and assistance available to Erie County businesses.
For detailed information on property and tax records in Erie County click here.
To view the 2018 Millage Rates in Erie County, click here.
2018 Millage Rates
|Township or Boro||School District||Cnty/Muni Total||2018-19 School||Cnty/Muni/Schl Total||2018-19 Home/Farm Exclusion|
|Elk Creek Township||NW||0.00841||0.0103397||0.01874965||$155.22|
|City of Erie||ESD||0.01705||0.0167899||0.0338399||$342.73|
|Lake City Boro||GSD||0.00856||0.01745||0.02601||$253.37|
|Lawrence Park Township||ISD||0.00866||0.0220526||0.0307126||$345.98|
|Mill Village Boro||FL||0.00648||0.01235||0.01883||$174.68|
|North East Boro - 1st Ward||NE||0.010249||0.01409||0.024339||$199.49|
|North East Boro - 2nd Ward||NE||0.010249||0.01409||0.024339||$199.49|
|North East Township||NE||0.006524||0.01409||0.020614||$199.49|
|Union City Boro- 1st Ward||UCA||0.01347||0.01122||0.02469||$226.00|
|Union City Boro- 2nd Ward||UCA||0.01347||0.01122||0.02469||$226.00|
The mission of the Erie County Department of Planning is to serve Erie County in fostering long-term livability and vitality of our communities by providing professional planning services and value-added programs based upon a data driven approach to decision making, public engagement, and the establishment of realistic goals for implementation.
- Affordable Housing Program
- Coastal Zone Management
- Community Development Block Grant
- Erie County Greenways Program
- Subdivisions and Land Developments
- Farmland Preservation Program
- Recycling Program
Building and Construction
City of Erie Building Permits:
|Lawrence Park||Mark Kukla||814-899-2305|
|North East||Russ LaFuria||814-725-8606|
Average Annual Wages
|NAICS Code||Erie County||Pennsylvania||U.S. Total|
|11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting||$25,108||$33,998||$33,287|
|21 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction||$51,989||$80,441||$102,988|
|42 Wholesale Trade||$51,618||$77,582||$73,710|
|44-45 Retail Trade||$25,335||$27,783||$30,299|
|48-49 Transportation and Warehousing||$38,301||$43,995||$50,459|
|52 Finance and Insurance||$73,521||$88,298||$101,210|
|53 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing||$31,868||$57,732||$54,965|
|54 Professional and Technical Services||$52,592||$89,136||$90,972|
|55 Management of Companies and Enterprises||$61,859||$123,008||$115,325|
|56 Administrative and Waste Services||$22,380||$34,205||$37,989|
|61 Educational Services||$37,177||$56,936||$48,757|
|62 Health Care and Social Assistance||$42,395||$48,104||$47,956|
|71 Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation||$19,792||$32,156||$36,806|
|72 Accommodation and Food Services||$13,794||$17,651||$20,032|
|81 Other Services, Except Public Administration||$25,862||$31,819||$35,921|
Private, NAICS Sectors, 2016 Annual Averages, All establishment sizes
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages - Bureau of Labor Statistics
The table below provides the living wage requirements in Erie County. The data is sourced from the Living Wage Calculator created by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier at MIT. It is a market-based approach that draws upon geographically specific expenditure data related to a family’s likely minimum food, childcare, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other necessities (e.g. clothing, personal care items, etc.) costs.
The living wage draws on these cost elements and the rough effects of income and payroll taxes to determine the minimum employment earnings necessary to meet a family’s basic needs while also maintaining self-sufficiency.
|Annual Expenses||1 Adult||1 Adult 1 Child||2 Adults 1 Child|
|Required annual income after taxes||$19,029||$40,011||$43,345|
|Required annual income before taxes||$21,684||$45,592||$49,392|
2017 Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: http://livingwage.mit.edu/
The EZRLF provides low interest financing to credit worthy businesses that contribute significantly to the area’s economy. Land and building acquisition, construction and renovations, machinery and equipment purchases, and other expansion projects that result in the creation or retention of jobs qualify for funding. The program may also be used to finance industrial development projects for manufacturing and industrial enterprises and high tech businesses.
EZRLF funding fills the gap between bank financing and your organization’s equity. The Fund can provide financing up to 50% of the total project cost, or a maximum of $500,000. The interest rate is fixed between 3 and 4% at the time of loan closing.
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.
In October 2012, the City, School District and County taxing bodies adopted ordinances to provide for a beneficial investment incentive for Commercial/Industrial and Residential properties to continue throughout the City of Erie. This real estate tax abatement program applies to improvements (renovations, new construction, etc) that are completed.
If you’re seeking funding for a business expansion, a community project, or site revitalization in Pennsylvania, DCED offers a variety of programs to help.
The Keystone Communities (KC) program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors that jointly support local initiatives such as the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities; social and economic diversity; and a strong and secure quality of life. The program allows communities to tailor the assistance to meet the needs of its specific revitalization effort.
A project must serve distressed areas or support neighborhood conservation. Projects must fall under one of the following categories: affordable housing programs, community services, crime prevention, education, job training or neighborhood assistance. A tax credit of up to 55% can be awarded.
The federal tax bill passed at the end of December 2017 enables the governor to designate certain census tracts as Opportunity Zones. Investments made by individuals through special funds in these zones would be allowed to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains.
By eliminating specific state and local taxes within specific underdeveloped and underutilized areas, communities within Pennsylvania are experiencing economic growth and investment. KOZs reflect a true sense of partnership among state and local taxing bodies, school districts, economic development agencies and community-based organizations.
The Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) program (2004) was designed to address the lack of entrepreneurial activity and knowledge economy growth around Pennsylvania’s research and development clusters. These KIZs were established around institutions of higher education located in both rural and urban regions and focus on utilizing Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher education as economic drivers. Each KIZ contains different partnerships from their region that include, but not limited to economic development providers, local governments, financial institutions and venture capitalists. Each KIZ focuses on its region’s individual competitive target industries.
1. Erie Indemnity Co
2. General Electric Company
3. UPMC Hamot
4. Saint Vincent Health Center
5. State Government
6. Wal-Mart Associates Inc
7. School District of the City of Erie
8. Federal Government
9. Erie County
10. Dr. Gertrude A Barber Center Inc
11. Millcreek Township School District
12. Gannon University
13. Country Fair Inc
14. Pennsylvania State University
15. Presque Isle Downs Inc
16. PA State System of Higher Education
17. Regional Health Services Inc
18. City of Erie
19. Lord Corporation
20. Plastek Industries Inc
21. Saint Vincent Med Ed & Research Inst
22. Millcreek Community Hospital
23. YMCA of Greater Erie
24. Mercyhurst University
25. Infinity Resources Inc
26. Wegmans Food Markets Inc
27. Erie Homes for Children & Adults
28. Voices for Independence
29. Dr. Gertrude A. Barber in Home Services
30. Saint Mary's Home of Erie
31. The Tamarkin Company
32. Erie County Convention Center Auth
33. Career Concepts Staffing Services Inc
34. Port Erie Plastics Inc
35. General McLane School District
36. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
37. C A Curtze Company
38. Pleasant Ridge Manor
39. Welch Foods Inc
40. Sarah A Reed Children's Center
41. Associated Clinical Laboratories LP
42. Millcreek Manor
43. Stairways Behavioral Health
44. Fort LeBoeuf School District
45. Presbyterian Senior Care
46. Harbor Creek School Distict
47. Lakeshore Community Services Inc
48. Northwest Tri-County Int Unit
49. Metz Culinary Management Inc
50. Greater Erie Comm Action Committee
|Township||Year Organized||Area in Square Miles||2010 Census||Planning & Zoning||Junk Yards & Auto||Trailer||Sewer &/or Septic||Garbage Refuse||Green River, etc||Gun Control||Parks||Nuisance|
How do I use this information?
Having access to business climate statistics and information is one thing, but it's quite another to use data effectively and in a way that will benefit your business. This next section will help you do just that. Learn how to use this information to make better business decisions.
Monitor the local business climate
On-going assessment of the business climate is an essential part of operating a competitive business. In any business climate, there are numerous factors outside your control that will impact your business, both positively and negatively. The health of the economy impacts all businesses, but small businesses usually feel the effect of economic changes faster than big businesses. Improvements in the economy typically provide a rapid increase in new opportunities for small businesses, while an economic downturn can have a significant and prolonged negative impact.
Unfortunately, you can’t influence the economy, but you can monitor the business climate indicators provided above and then take the necessary actions to minimise risks to your business. Staying up to date with the business climate can also help you identify new opportunities that your business can take advantage of.
Know your costs
All industries are unique and incur different types of costs when starting or operating. Understanding these costs is essential when it comes to setting prices, budgeting and planning for growth or downturns. We’ve provided some of the local costs associated with taxes, development and labor that often get overlooked by businesses. There may be other municipal and state costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.
Where can I learn more about the business climate?
While we are providing you with a range of valuable information about the business climate, the fact is that there's much more available. In this section we provide you with links to other websites that will supplement our information and help to keep your finger on the pulse.
There may also be other municipal and state costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development – Business Climate
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development – Local Business Assistance
Bureau of Economic Analysis – US Department of Commerce
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)