The Pennsylvania Small Business Environmental Assistance Program has earned the top honor for Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAP) nationwide. The SBEAP National Steering Committee presented the 2012 Small Business Environmental Assistance Program Award in a ceremony held during the National 2012 Annual 507 Program Training in Washington DC. Dale Kaplan of Kaplan’s Careful Cleaners and chair of the Pennsylvania and National Compliance Advisory Committees, Susan Foster of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Nancy Crickman, director of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) accepted the award on behalf of the Pennsylvania program.
The award recognizes exemplary performance in developing program innovations in one or more areas where programs have contributed their time, created resources and work products, promoted policy advancements, developed program innovations, and established new partnerships to build a strong network of small business assistance.
At the state level, Pennsylvania has been a leader in small business environmental compliance assistance since 1994. Despite dwindling funding, Pennsylvania has maintained all three program components – the Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee, free and confidential environmental compliance assistance provided through a partnership with EMAP, and the Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Ombudsman.
The Pennsylvania program is a tremendous resource for small businesses and the partners have worked together to development innovative resources and tools for small businesses. One unique program that Pennsylvania offers is the DEP Small Business Advantage Grant which provides incentive funding to promote the implementation of pollution prevention and energy efficiency projects. Since its inception in 2004, the grant program has issued 744 grants for over $4,000,000 to fund projects which benefit the environment and save businesses money on their operating expenses.
“EMAP is pleased to be partner with DEP in helping small businesses start and grow their businesses with a solid understanding of environmental compliance requirements” said Nancy Crickman, EMAP director.
EMAP provides free and confidential compliance technical assistance to small businesses by helping with permit preparation, emission calculations, record keeping and conducting on-site air quality assessments and employee training. EMAP resources include a toll-free compliance hotline, 877.ask.EMAP, a website of resources and tools,www.askemap.org and one-on-one free environmental consulting assistance.