A financial lender wants small businesses to know it is there to help.

During the Carbon County commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board welcomed Jeffrey K. Box, president and CEO of Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance of Pittston; as well as a few NEPA Alliance colleagues to the meeting.

Box explained that NEPA Alliance has a business finance corporation that can help small businesses in Carbon County with financing through their various loan programs.

"We are a regional economic development group based out of Pittston but serve businesses in Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill and Wayne counties," he said. "We want businesses and the banking community to know that we are your economic development lender."

During his brief presentation, Box noted that there are 10 economic development lending programs in place, providing low, fixed rate financing to qualifying small businesses.

One program that was highlighted was the SBA 504 loan offer, which allows the alliance to lend millions of dollars to small businesses, instead of just microloans, which are only a few thousand dollars.

"The 504 loans are significant economic development engines that can fund a lot of different projects in our region," Box continued. "The ultimate goal is job creation and/or retention by the private sector. That's why we're in business, to help small business."

Paul Macknosky, business finance specialist for NEPA Alliance, added that right now, the 504 20-year fixed rate is 4.12 percent; and the 10-year fixed rate is 3.6 percent.

Small businesses interested in more information or to see if they qualify for the loan programs can call (570) 655-5581 or visit www.nepa-alliance.org.

In other county matters, the board acted on the following items:

Ÿ Advertise a proposed ordinance that revises the rates for unmetered parking lots operated by the county.

Under the ordinance, the county lot parking fees shall be $5 for cars Monday through Friday and $10 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays; $10 for campers; $6 for non-county school buses; and $15 for buses. During the Fall Foliage activities in October, the rates will be $10 for cars; $20 for buses and non-county school buses; and $15 for campers.

The action also amends several areas of the ordinance regarding the ticketing of vehicles and penalties for violations.

Ÿ Advertise a proposed ordinance that revises an ordinance at Mauch Chunk Lake Park, by revoking or removing section 26c and adopting rules and regulations for the Carbon County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Ÿ Cancel the Carbon County commissioners meeting for Jan. 24; and schedule a special meeting for the board of commissioners at 6 p.m., Feb. 5, to set the salaries for elected officials for the years 2016 and 2017.

Ÿ Appoint David R. Hawk of Lehighton as a public director for the Carbon County Conservation District. Hawk fills an unexpired term that will end Dec. 31, 2013.

Ÿ Accept a RASA grant agreement with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in the amount of $59,882 for the 2013-2014 Victim/Witness program.

Ÿ Appoint Frederick Merluzzi of Lehighton as an Emergency Management Agency volunteer deputy.

Ÿ Approve a Juvenile Court Judges Commission Grant-In-Aid award under the 2012-2017 Juvenile Probation/Specialized Probation Services agreement for reimbursement of staff salaries from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 in the amount of $58,581.