In December, the state Department of Community and Economic Development announced it was lowering the interest rates on five revolving loan programs to spark economic growth and bolster job creation in areas such as manufacturing.
DCED dropped the rate from 2.75 percent to 1.5 percent through March 31 on its Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund, the Small Business First program, the Pollution Prevention Assistance program and the Export Financing program.
The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority also approved lowering its interest rates to 1.5 percent. And PIDA and DCED waived fees charged to the borrowers.
As of last week, there were four applications for PIDA, six for SBF and three for MELF, said Theresa Elliott, a DCED spokeswoman.
"We expect demand for funding assistance to increase significantly in February and March, based on the level of nonprejudicial approvals and the many conversations staff has had with local economic development organizations on new projects," she said.
This year, PIDA has the capacity to do $65 million in financing, while SBF has $20 million, Elliott said. The pollution prevention program has $1.5 million and the MELF has the capacity to do $30 million.
DCED also has a Community Economic Development loan program that has the capacity to do $3 million in 2013, she said.