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One S. Church Street, Suite 200, Hazleton, PA 18201      
570.455.1508   570.454.7787    



News and information about CAN DO for the community, investors, volunteers and board members.

Little Leaf purchases McAdoo Industrial Park sitesLittle 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 webCandelles, 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.

NancyStasko2021CAN 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.

sweeney danDan 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.

CAN DO joins the City of Hazleton, Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce and other members of the Greater Hazleton COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency Task Force to announce that funding is now available via a USDA loan program to support Hazleton City restaurants.

The City of Hazleton has approximately $30,000 in existing funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Loan Fund that can provide zero-percent interest loans to city-wide restaurants who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any restaurant located within the City of Hazleton and established prior to December 2019 is eligible to apply.

CAN DO and CAN BE, along with the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce and other members of the Greater Hazleton COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency Task Force, are helping small businesses across Greater Hazleton receive free assistance to either establish or increase their online presence as they respond to challenges faced in light of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

thumbnail Hazleton Aerial October 2020PFNonwovens, a global manufacturer of nonwoven fabrics used to produce protective medical apparel worn by doctors and nurses across the country, in addition to multiple consumer products, announced that the company has begun a $70 million expansion at its Humboldt Industrial Park location that will add two production lines and create an additional 60 jobs over the next two years. PFN currently employs more than 300 people at its facilities in Humboldt Industrial Park.

Phase I of the expansion is expected to be completed and operational in mid-2021 and the second phase is planned to be completed in 2022. PFN currently has 500,850 square-feet of manufacturing space on 68.6 acres of land in Humboldt. The expansion will add another 170,562 square-feet to the existing facility, according to a company spokeswoman.