SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti announced Tuesday which area business would receive the first Wage Boost Grant (WPG) through the City’s $68.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.

A second-generation lampshade factory in the Electric City known as Penn Shadecrafters, at 941 Sanderson Avenue, will get the first funding boost courtesy of the ARPA. Penn Shadecrafters opened in 1974 and is one of the last lampshade manufacturers in the country. The factory closed in 2020 when the pandemic struck.

When the business finally reopened, it was hit hard by inflation. So, they applied for the Wage Boost Grant before the first-round deadline on November 14 and the $50,000 they’ve been awarded will help Penn Shadecrafters continue their work in Scranton.

“We are doing all we can to adapt. We are doing all we can to keep our costs down, and with the payroll boost program that will help as well, my costs as well, so we are very very thankful to the City of Scranton and Mayor Cognetti, and the Scranton Area Foundation to help us stay in business here in the city,” said Steve Carter, Owner of Penn Shadecrafters.

Watch: Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti’s visit Penn Shadecrafters below.

Scranton’s Wage Boost grant estimates state averages per industry and position based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The program is expected to help Penn Shadecrafters pay employees a minimum of $2 more per hour, adding at least $4,000 to individual salaries.

“Our ARPA Wage Boost program helps close Scranton’s gap between current wages and our living wage. Providing help through this federal funding source makes it easier for workers to stay in jobs they love here in the City and for businesses to keep their doors open. Higher working wages help us all,” stated Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti.  

Carter says his sales are still 30% lower than what they were before the pandemic but this will help tremendously in keeping his factory doors open.