Erie County

Review the Business Climate

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.

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Resident Indicator Population Growth Chart

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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
Albion Boro NW 0.01091 0.0103397 0.02124965 $155.22
Amity Township WA 0.00691 0.0191858 0.0260958 $147.92
Concord Township CA 0.005616 0.014074 0.01969 $168.73
Conneaut Township NW 0.00641 0.0103397 0.01674965 $155.22
Corry City CA 0.01576 0.014074 0.029834 $168.73
Cranesville Boro NW 0.00684 0.0103397 0.01717965 $155.22
Edinboro Boro GM 0.00991 0.01285 0.02276 $134.18
Elgin Boro CA 0.00606 0.014074 0.020134 $168.73
Elk Creek Township NW 0.00841 0.0103397 0.01874965 $155.22
City of Erie ESD 0.01705 0.0167899 0.0338399 $342.73
Fairview Township FSD 0.00616 0.01767 0.02383 $88.46
Franklin Township GM 0.00811 0.01285 0.02096 $134.18
Girard Boro GSD 0.0073 0.01745 0.02475 $253.37
Girard Township GSD 0.006342 0.01745 0.023792 $253.37
Greene Township WA 0.0072 0.0191858 0.0263858 $147.92
Greenfield Township WA 0.00775 0.0191858 0.0269358 $147.92
Harborcreek Township HSD 0.0063763 0.01647 0.0228463 $106.99
Lake City Boro GSD 0.00856 0.01745 0.02601 $253.37
Lawrence Park Township ISD 0.00866 0.0220526 0.0307126 $345.98
LeBoeuf Township FL 0.00616 0.01235 0.01851 $174.68
McKean Township GM 0.00636 0.01285 0.01921 $134.18
Mckean Boro GM 0.00635 0.01285 0.0192 $134.18
Millcreek Township MSD 0.0089637 0.0141054 0.0230691 $68.62
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
Platea Boro NW 0.006489 0.0103397 0.01682865 $155.22
Springfield Township NW 0.0057625 0.0103397 0.01610215 $155.22
Summit Township FL 0.006 0.01235 0.01835 $174.68
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
Union Township UCA 0.00641 0.01122 0.01763 $226.00
Venango Township WA 0.00761 0.0191858 0.0267958 $147.92
Washington Township GM 0.00641 0.01285 0.01926 $134.18
Waterford Boro FL 0.00791 0.01235 0.02026 $174.68
Waterford Township FL 0.0074 0.01235 0.01975 $174.68
Wattsburg Boro WA 0.00801 0.0191858 0.0271958 $147.92
Wayne Township CA 0.00665 0.014074 0.020724 $168.73
Wesleyville Boro ISD 0.013048 0.0220526 0.0351006 $345.98

Planning

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.

Programs:

Building and Construction

City of Erie Building Permits:

Zoning Officers

Township Name Contact
Amity Jason Sayers 814-438-2296
Concord Ralph DeRose 814-664-4842
Conneaut
Elk Creek
Fairview Judy Schroek 814-474-5942
Franklin Ralph Brieding 814-734-7153
Girard
Greene Natalie Zimmer 814-825-3347
Greenfield Renee Wagner 814-725-9110
Harborcreek Connie Cruz 814-899-3171
Lawrence Park Mark Kukla 814-899-2305
LeBoeuf William Cornwell 814-460-9552
McKean Tenderrlee Little 814-476-7414
Millcreek Matthew Puz 814-833-1111
North East Russ LaFuria 814-725-8606
Springfield Meredith Borstorff 814-922-3274
Summit Nathan Miller 814-868-9686
Union Beverly Ballog 814-438-7512
Venango Jason Sayers 814-739-2688
Washington Norman Willow 814-734-3117
Waterford Marilyn Evans 814-796-2109
Wayne Erin Bisbee 814-663-1663

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
22 Utilities $77,859 $110,759 $102,868
23 Construction $45,416 $61,595 $58,647
31-33 Manufacturing $58,296 $59,791 $64,870
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
51 Information $51,372 $75,260 $98,458
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

Source:

Private, NAICS Sectors, 2016 Annual Averages, All establishment sizes

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages - Bureau of Labor Statistics

Erie County, PA

Pennsylvania

U.S Total

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
Food $3,467 $5,103 $7,905
Child Care $0 $7,521 $7,521
Medical $2,349 $6,552 $6,271
Housing $6,948 $9,084 $9,084
Transportation $3,609 $7,457 $7,828
Other $2,656 $4,294 $4,736
Required annual income after taxes $19,029 $40,011 $43,345
Annual taxes $2,655 $5,582 $6,047
Required annual income before taxes $21,684 $45,592 $49,392

Source:

2017 Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: http://livingwage.mit.edu/

Erie County, PA

Local

Erie County Enterprise Zone Revolving Loan Fund (EZRLF)

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.

Flagship Fund

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.

LERTA

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.

State

PA Department of Community and Economic Development

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.

Keystone Communities Program (KCP)

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.

Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP)

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.

PA Federal Opportunity Zones

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.

Pennsylvania Keystone Opportunity Zone

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.

Keystone Innovation Zones (KIZ)

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
Amity 1825 28.70 1,073 Y Y Y Y N N N N Y
Concord 1803 32.51 1,344 Y Y N N N N N N Y
Conneaut 1803 42.60 4,290 N N N Y N N N N N
Elk Creek 1800 31.96 1,798 N Y N N N N N N N
Fairview 1998 28.36 10,102 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Franklin 1844 28.81 1,633 Y Y N Y Y N N N N
Girard 1832 31.96 5,102 Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
Greene 1800 37.04 4,706 Y Y Y Y Y N N Y -
Greenfield 1800 33.48 1,933 Y Y N N N N N Y Y
Harborcreek 1803 33.71 17,234 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Lawrence Park 1926 1.84 3,741 Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y
LeBoeuf 1800 33.35 1,698 Y Y N N Y N N N N
McKean 1803 33.35 4,409 Y Y Y Y N N N N N
Millcreek 1803 29.50 53,515 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
North East 1802 42.08 6,315 Y Y N N N N N N N
Springfield 1803 34.73 3,425 Y Y Y N N N N Y N
Summit 1854 24.04 6,603 Y Y Y Y N N Y Y N
Union 1803 39.50 1,655 Y Y N Y Y N N N N
Venango 1788 43.10 2,297 Y Y Y Y N N N N Y
Washington 1803 44.04 4,432 Y Y Y Y N N N Y Y
Waterford 1804 50.22 3,920 Y N Y N Y N N N N
Wayne 1803 38.37 1,659 Y Y N Y N N N N Y

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.

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Contact us

Jeff Keeler
Data Center Coordinator
814-451-7331
jkeeler@eriecountypa.gov

150 E. Front Street, Erie, PA, 16507