There are many good financial reasons to consider starting a business in Downtown Hazleton.
Two downtown office buildings are designated Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ) through 2024. These include the former Hazleton National Bank (101 W. Broad St.) and the former Traders Bank buildings (2 E. Broad St.). Both buildings also fall within the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) that includes most of the central business district.
KIZs are designed to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities. TecBridge currently coordinates the Hazleton area KIZ program. To qualify for these transferrable tax credits, companies must be less than eight years old and fall within one of five targeted industry sectors: Healthcare/Life Science; Nanotechnology, Advanced Manufacturing & Plastics; Information Technology/New Media; Back Office/Finance; and Homeland Security. A company may claim a tax credit equal to 50% of the increase in that company’s gross revenue from year one to year two.
Development projects within the designated downtown district are now eligible to apply for Enterprise Zone tax credits. This program allows private companies who rehabilitate, expand, and/or improve buildings or land to meet community economic development goals eligible for a 25% tax credit, up to $500,000.
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
This competitive program offers substantial tax credits to private businesses who will partner with us on projects that address program priorities (such as blight remediation, crime prevention, and community economic development programs). The tax credit can range anywhere from 55-80% with a one to six year program commitment.
KEYSTONE MAIN STREET COMMUNITY BENEFITS
In February 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) awarded the City of Hazleton with Keystone Community “Main Street” designation, a five-year designation that will be in effect through February 2021. The Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress is the organization responsible for administering and implementing the revitalization program. This designation comes with several economic benefits. Among these include priority consideration under several DCED programs, including the Keystone Communities grants and loan programs that look to focus public and private investment in historic commercial centers.
STRATEGIC PLAN FOR DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION
Hazleton may be the highest incorporated city in Pennsylvania but its downtown is rising even higher with new investment and renewed focus on those values that built the immigrant community over a century ago: hard work, family, food, faith, and community.