(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Erie County tech businesses are receiving a boost from the commonwealth.

A total of eight tech businesses in Erie County will receive a combined $530,714 in tax credits through the Keystone Innovation Zone program.

Gov. Tom Wolf approved the funding for the local businesses along with 189 other “early-stage” technology companies across the commonwealth, according to a news release from state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro’s office.

“It’s vital to support our tech entrepreneurs here at home and foster their growth,” Wolf said. “These tax credits help reduce the burden on companies as they are just starting out. In turn, these businesses and entrepreneurs will push Pennsylvania’s thriving tech sector forward.”

Local businesses receiving the credits are Evident Holding Company LLC ($26,087), Institute on Healthcare Directives ($11,370), Makerplace Inc. ($100,000), VelocityNet Video, Inc. ($40,735), Steel Toe Consulting, LLC ($77,005), Whitethorn Digital, LLC ($100,000), Great Lakes Online Media, LCC ($75,517) and Calypso Enterprises ($100,000).

To receive the credits, a business had to be in operation for fewer than 8 years, had to have gross revenues that increased over the previous year, and had to be operating within a specific industry sector.

State Reps. Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski all commended the tax credits.

“Our region is prime for entrepreneurs looking to innovate in emerging and changing markets,” Bizzarro said. “Erie County is one part of the Keystone Innovations Zone because of the access we have to higher education, the affordability of our region, and it’s easy to do business here.”

“Erie’s growing tech industry is diversifying our manufacturing and business sectors and bringing more family-sustaining jobs to the region,” Harkins said. “But for young companies, solvency and cash flow can pose huge challenges. The tax credits awarded today will make it easier for these companies to grow so they can stay in Erie, strengthen their bases in the community and expand.”

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“It’s exciting to see more and more tech companies putting down roots here in Erie, but we need to make sure we can offer the favorable business climate and incentives they need to survive and thrive here,” Merski said. “One way is by lowering the state corporate income tax, and another is by providing tax credits like the ones awarded today, which help reduce the burden on young companies starting out.”