News and information about CAN DO for the community, investors, volunteers and board members.
CAN DO, Inc. recently appointed Samantha Fenicchia as its Director of Administration and Karen Martinez as an Accounting Specialist I.
CAN DO is joining Partners in Education, the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania CareerLink® and other community partners to launch the Hazleton Works campaign to address workforce development needs of both employers and job seekers in Greater Hazleton.
The campaign’s objective is to develop a collaboration between schools, businesses and organizations to address area workforce development needs and identify how individuals can gain the appropriate training and skills for those positions.
In its role as CAN DO’s entrepreneurial development arm, CAN BE’s mission has always been to foster entrepreneurship and new venture development in Greater Hazleton.
With entrepreneurship and innovative thinking growing throughout the area, CAN BE continues to expand the ways it serves as a primary business development support system for entrepreneurs.
In addition to working with CAN BE Innovation Center clients and independent business owners, CAN BE also provides mentoring services to individuals entering entrepreneurship competitions.
Little Leaf Farms is on a mission to transform the way food is grown and distributed. Now, just six years after breaking ground for its first greenhouse, the company is expanding on founder and CEO Paul Sellew’s vision to provide the freshest, best-tasting baby greens for East Coast salad lovers all year round by bringing Little Leaf Farms to Greater Hazleton.
Sellew said the company found the ideal location to expand its production and open its first Pennsylvania greenhouse in Greater Hazleton, specifically within the McAdoo Industrial Park. Greater Hazleton understands the needs of the food processing industry and this area will allow the company to maintain its goal of delivering fresh lettuce that is harvested and shipped to stores within 24 hours.
“Northeast Pennsylvania really understands the food business and we are proud to be part of this growing community,” Sellew said. “The McAdoo area is a great location to access a number of major markets where we are growing. The NYC metro area, Philadelphia, as well as the entire Mid-Atlantic region, are all growth markets for our company.”
Luzerne County recently hosted an information session on the Luzerne County COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program.
Luzerne County has received funds to award as grants to hospitality businesses within their service area. CAN DO and the Wilkes Barre Industrial Fund have been designated as program facilitators.
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.