The Department of Environmental Protection announced that the deadline for Pennsylvania small-business owners to apply for DEP's Small Business Advantage Grants has been extended to Tuesday, Oct. 8. The deadline has been extended to ensure that as many small businesses as possible can benefit from this worthwhile opportunity.

Businesses can apply for 50-percent matching funds of up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution-prevention equipment or procedures.

Applicants must be a for-profit corporation, limited liability corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity with 100 or fewer full-time employees. The grant-supported project must be located in Pennsylvania, be owned by the applicant and save the business at least 25 percent plus $500 in annual energy consumption or in pollution handling or prevention related expenses.

Applicants may be manufacturers, retailers, service providers, mining operators or agricultural businesses. Eligible projects include HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recovery systems, waste recycling systems and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks.

Funding is eligible for costs incurred between July 8, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

Applications must be mailed to the Department of Environmental Protection's Grant Center, P.O. Box 8776, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8776 or hand delivered to DEP's Grant Center, 15th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg, PA 17101-2301. Faxes or electronic submissions will not be accepted.

For more information and to view the application package, instructions and application form, visit www.dep.state.pa.us [1] and click on the "Small Business Advantage Grant" button.

To contact the Small Business Ombudsman's Office, call (717) 772-8909 or email epadvantagegrant@pa.gov [2].