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SEDCO Board welcomes new members

Four county business leaders join SEDCO Board

On March 16, 2023, the board of directors of the Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation announced that four Schuylkill County business leaders have joined the organization as members of the board.

Pictured, back row, left to right, are new directors Karl Nolte of EMD Group, Glen Antz of Antz Energy Systems, and Mike Pechart with the Masser Family of Companies; front row, left to right, are Board Secretary Kirk Fanelli, Vice-chair Christine Verdier, new director Larry Wittig of Wittig & Company, CPAs, and Board Treasurer Demetrius Kasmari.

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Travel Plaza Development Announced

Onvo Acquires Highridge Business Park Site to Develop Into Travel Plaza
logoOnvo, a hospitality company based in Scranton, PA, acquired a 37-acre property in Cass Township with the intent to develop the site into a travel plaza.

Onvo Travel Plaza – Highridge, located at exit 119 of Interstate 81, will serve travelers and truck drivers with premium fuel, food service, and a convenience store. The property is located at the Highridge Business Park, which is a 2,000-acre development covering Butler, Cass and Foster Townships.  Developed by the Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO), the park is home to several distribution and manufacturing operations including Wegmans, Lowes, Wal-Mart, and Tyson Foods among others.

site planThe 9,500 sq. ft. building will feature a full-sized Burger King restaurant with a drive-thru window as well as an Onvo convenience store among other amenities for travelers, commuters, and truck drivers. The property will also have 65 parking spots for cars and 34 parking spots for trucks, with the company planning to add an additional 56 truck parking spots in the future.

Construction on this project will begin in early fall 2021 with the company aiming to open the site for business by Memorial Day 2022. Onvo Travel Plaza – Highridge will create up to 70 full-time jobs between the convenience store and Burger King. The property also has potential for additional retail, food service, and hospitality development that will also be explored by Onvo.

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COVID19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) in Schuylkill County

The Schuylkill County Commissioners, Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) and NEPA Alliance have partnered to deliver the COVID19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) for eligible businesses in Schuylkill County. The CHIRP program was recently announced by Governor Wolf and approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to help hospitality businesses across the Commonwealth financially impacted by closures and lost income due to the COVID19 pandemic. The State Legislation allowed for a maximum grant amount of $50,000, however, in order to positively impact the most Schuylkill County businesses this funding will be limited to $25,000 grants at this time.

“There are so many Schuylkill County businesses that have endured closures, were subject to decreased capacity allowances and staff lay-offs during this past year,” said County Commissioner George Halcovage. “These funds will serve as much-needed lifelines to those in the hospitality and restaurant industry as these businesses press on to continue operations. Again, it is imperative that we support our local business community. We look forward to the success of this program that will be professionally managed by NEPA Alliance.”

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COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program

Pa. seat of government


The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program was established to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in sectors that are vital to every Pennsylvanians’ existence. The program will help employers provide hazard pay for their employees to retain current employees. This reimbursement-based grant is for employers who will be offering hazard pay over the eligible program period.

Applications will be received between July 16, 2020 and July 31, 2020.

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