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City of Bethlehem Awarded 5-Year Enterprise Zone Designation


Press Release

Bethlehem, PA – The City of Bethlehem was awarded a 5-Year Enterprise Zone Designation through the Keystone Communities Program by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Community & Economic Development (PA DCED). The designation took effect immediately and ends on September 30th, 2024.  This designation provides the added benefit of priority consideration under several PA DCED programs Including the Keystone Communities program. The designation also qualifies as a "distressed area” under the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP).

Bethlehem Enterprise Zone Map
“We are grateful to the Commonwealth and Governor Wolf for approving the designation of the Bethlehem Enterprise Zone” said Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez.  “This will help to attract and encourage investment into our City as we continue to diversify and strengthen our economy.”
This designation helps to encourage investment in blighted, vacant, and underutilized properties within Bethlehem. 
Some of the benefits of the Enterprise Zone include:
  • - Increasing the access of local firms to financing by lending institutions on mutually advantageous terms.
  • - Eligible businesses located within the zone receive priority consideration when bidding on state government contracts.
  • - Eligible businesses located within the zone receive priority consideration when applying for financial assistance to clean up contaminated sites under Act II.
  • - Eligible businesses receive priority consideration for any resource administered by the commonwealth that would assist in leveraging imminent business investment and job creation in an Enterprise Zone
Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program
The Neighborhood Assistance Program: Enterprise Zone Tax Credit program has been an extremely important resource in helping to encourage investment in Bethlehem over the recent years.  Since 2015, there have been 8 EZ Tax Credits approved for a total of $2.15M. 
  • - 25% Sellable Tax Credit up to $500,000.
  • - Projects include: The Flat Iron Building, Gateway Building, Vastex International, The Factory, Riverport Market, 2010 Spillman Dr., and 2675 Commerce Center Blvd.
  • - Eligible Expenses: Acquisition, Improvement to Land/Building, Rehabilitation, Expansion, Engineering, Architecture
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s mission is to encourage the shared prosperity of all Pennsylvanians by supporting good stewardship and sustainable development initiatives across the commonwealth.
A new application period for EZ Tax Credits open now through December 20th.  Anyone interested or engaged in a project between 7/1/19 – 6/30/20 is encouraged to contact Bethlehem DCED.
Contact the City of Bethlehem Dept. of Community & Economic Development if you are interested in learning more about the Bethlehem Enterprise Zone.  Email or call (610) 865-4347.
Asher Schiavone
Economic Development Coordinator
City of Bethlehem Dept. of Community & Economic Development
10 East Church St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 865-4347
Mandy Book
Center for Community Enhancement
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120