News and information about CAN DO for the community, investors, volunteers and board members.
Candelles, a handmade soy candle company, is set to graduate from their space within the CAN BE Innovation Center in March and expand to a 6,800 square-foot facility in the CAN DO Corporate Center just a little over three years after it entered the regional small business incubator.
Since moving into CAN BE in November of 2017, Candelles went from operating out of a 900 square-foot office to covering 2,500 square feet and not only producing and shipping their own products but also handling fulfillment services for a hand-lettered goods company called Chalkfulloflove.
Candelles founders Kelley Major and C.J. Graaf, said the amenities and services that CAN BE offers helped her company go from a start-up that once operated out of the kitchen in her home to the thriving business it is today.
On February 5, 2021 Governor Wolf signed into law legislation (Act 1 of 2021) that set aside $145 million in funds to aid hospitality industry businesses most adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For Luzerne County, $3,595,181 in competitive funding is available to Luzerne County hospitality businesses and to cover costs of operating the program.
Act 1 of 2021 requires that counties establish grant programs for eligible businesses through a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO) or Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Luzerne County has approved CAN DO, Inc. and Greater Wilkes Barre Industrial Fund, the designated CEDO’s for Luzerne County, to administer this grant program. A significant portion of the eligibility criteria and requirements of this program are dictated by what was included in the law and the requirements set forth in the Fiscal Code.
CAN DO announced that Director of Administration Nancy Stasko will retire on March 31 after nearly 26 years of service with the economic development organization.
Stasko, who is the second-longest tenured employee in CAN DO’s history, was hired on April 3, 1995, to serve as administrative assistant to then-President and CEO Kevin O'Donnell and was eventually promoted to Director of Administration.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for both First Draw and Second Draw PPP Loans the week of January 11. Applications can be submitted between January 11 and March 31, 2021.
Since the inception of the program, the SBA has made modifications to best assist businesses in continuing need. The following updates had been made to the program: borrowers can determine their preferred loan covered period, between 8 and 24 weeks, to best meet their business needs; in addition to payroll costs, employee benefits, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities, loans will cover additional expenses including operation expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures; eligible entities now include 501© non-profits, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations; and finally, there is greater flexibility for seasonal employees' payroll expenses.
Dan Sweeney, CAN DO’s Facilities Manager for the past 21 years, has announced that he will be retiring on March 31.
As facilities manager, Sweeney is responsible for the management of all of CAN DO’s leased buildings and oversees the maintenance of its industrial parks and corporate center.
“Danny is one of the most reliable people we’ve ever had at CAN DO. Dan had tremendous pride in what he did and is well respected not only by our entire board and staff but also all of our tenants. Danny is a master craftsman who understood our properties as well as anyone. He will be very hard to replace and surely be missed,” said CAN DO President and CEO Joseph Lettiere.
CAN DO joins the City of Hazleton, Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce and other members of the Greater Hazleton COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency Task Force to announce that funding is now available via a USDA loan program to support Hazleton City restaurants.
The City of Hazleton has approximately $30,000 in existing funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Loan Fund that can provide zero-percent interest loans to city-wide restaurants who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any restaurant located within the City of Hazleton and established prior to December 2019 is eligible to apply.
CAN DO and CAN BE, along with the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce and other members of the Greater Hazleton COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency Task Force, are helping small businesses across Greater Hazleton receive free assistance to either establish or increase their online presence as they respond to challenges faced in light of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
PFNonwovens, a global manufacturer of nonwoven fabrics used to produce protective medical apparel worn by doctors and nurses across the country, in addition to multiple consumer products, announced that the company has begun a $70 million expansion at its Humboldt Industrial Park location that will add two production lines and create an additional 60 jobs over the next two years. PFN currently employs more than 300 people at its facilities in Humboldt Industrial Park.
Phase I of the expansion is expected to be completed and operational in mid-2021 and the second phase is planned to be completed in 2022. PFN currently has 500,850 square-feet of manufacturing space on 68.6 acres of land in Humboldt. The expansion will add another 170,562 square-feet to the existing facility, according to a company spokeswoman.
(Hazleton, PA – November 20, 2020) – IntelliGreen Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Robinson received the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year award during the Chamber’s virtual Business and Community Awards program. CAN BE, an equal opportunity provider, sponsors the annual award, which promotes the development of future business owners and operators within Greater Hazleton.
Robinson, said, “As a Managing Partner and VP of Sales and Marketing for both IntelliGreen and American Eagle Solutions, my roles and responsibility surround expanding our product lines and offerings to achieve a national presence in smart building technology and energy efficiency.”
(Hazleton, PA – November 23, 2020) – Muzo, a flexible classroom learning and office solutions furniture company from the United Kingdom, has announced that it will be relocating its global headquarters and much of its manufacturing to a 74,000 square-foot facility owned by CAN DO in the Valmont Industrial Park in West Hazleton. For the past 10 years, Muzo has been manufacturing locally in a smaller facility in the CAN DO Corporate Center.
“We have chosen West Hazleton largely because of our ability to scale in terms of production. We are a growing business. We’ve established ourselves in this region and we like the people and we like the area, Muzo founder and CEO Darren Buttle said. “Transportation routes are great here and our east coast business is very, very strong. We sell worldwide and will be exporting from here to a number of regions around the world.”