Skip to Content
  • Contact Us
  • Text Size

 allentownpa.gov - Metro Government of Allentown (Print logo)

Small Business SPARK Program

Recognizing the need for more localized and individualized tools for small business owners to succeed during the current pandemic, the City of Allentown is launching the new Allentown Small Business SPARK Program in collaboration with the Allentown Chamber of Commerce to provide technical assistance grants to Allentown businesses recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be eligible to receive up to 14 hours of assistance from local experts in the following areas:

  • marketing, photography, social media
  • e-commerce/website,
  • cybersecurity,
  • financial management,
  • legal assistance,
  • strategic planning

Applications for small Allentown businesses to receive the technical assistance grants are open now. Businesses are required to complete a three-page intake form available here. Click here to review the application questions prior to beginning the application: SPARK Program Application. This collects basic contact information and allows business owners to specify their needs. These applications will be available in both English and Spanish. Note: This grant consists of technical assistance provided at no cost to awardees. There is no monetary award associated with this grant.

Consulting services are provided by other local businesses. Priority has been given to small, diverse, and Allentown-based service providers. Applications that meet the guidelines will be approved in the order they are received. Applications will continue to be accepted until funding is exhausted or until September 1, 2022, whichever is first.

Successful applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The principal place of business is within the city limits of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
  • The business has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The business has 50 or fewer full-time employees.

Technical assistance grants will be awarded with work to begin taking place in early June and will continue through October 2022.

SPARK Program

SPARK Program Application Process

For additional information, please email business@allentownpa.gov..

SPARK Program FAQ

How can I find out if my business is within the City limits of Allentown?

  1. You can use the City's ArcGIS map to search the address of your business.

Who is eligible for the Allentown Small Business Spark Program?

  1. Successful applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
    1. The principal place of business is within the city limits of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
    2. The business has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    3. The business has 50 or fewer full-time employees
  2. Applicants will self-certify that they meet the criteria. The City of Allentown will contact individual applicants if there are any questions about the application. No documents need to be submitted for this program unless requested by the City of Allentown to confirm any of the above criteria.

How does this program work for grant recipients?

  1. This grant consists of technical assistance provided at no cost to awardees. There is no monetary award associated with this grant. Interested and eligible businesses begin by completing the SPARK Applicant form. This application window will remaining open on a rolling basis until all the program funds are expended or until September 1, 2022, whichever is first.
  2. Businesses will select for which areas they wish to receive technical assistance on the application form. The City of Allentown has negotiated hourly rates for services with each service provider (Vendor). Depending on which areas of assistance are needed, the business can receive up to 14 hours of technical assistance in one or multiple areas. Grant applications that meet the guidelines will be approved in the order they are received.
  3. The technical assistance will be scheduled between the Vendor and the grant recipient directly with a facilitated connection from the Allentown Chamber of Commerce. This assistance will be provided virtually or in-person during regular business hours. Upon the completion of the assistance, the Vendor will invoice the Allentown Chamber of Commerce.
  4. The grant recipient will be expected to complete some minor reporting and may choose to continue working with the Allentown Chamber of Commerce or the Vendors separately after the completion of the program.

In what areas can businesses apply for technical assistance?

  1. Technical assistance will be provided from local experts in the following areas:
    1. marketing, photography, social media
    2. e-commerce/website,
    3. cybersecurity,
    4. financial management,
    5. legal assistance,
    6. strategic planning
  2. Businesses can select one or multiple areas on their application.

When can grant recipients apply for this program?

  1. The application window will remain open on a rolling basis until funds are expended for the program or by September 1, 2022, whichever comes first. Businesses are required to complete a three-page application form available

What if I have questions about completing my grant application?

  1. Applicants can reach out to the Office of Business Development by emailing business@allentownpa.gov.

What sort of information is collected on the grant application?

  1. The grant application form is available now online here. Application questions include contact information, demographic reporting information, and questions regarding the number of low-to-moderate-income employees and customers/clients. This information is required due to reporting requirements associated with the federal Department of Treasury. Applicants can preview all the requested information on the application form available here.