HARRISBURG, Pa. — With energy costs continuing to rise, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell is working to help small businesses reduce electricity and fuel consumption. Gov. Rendell says 89 small businesses across the state will receive a total of $521,000 in grants to incorporate innovative technologies that improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution. Included in this list are 15 fabricare businesses (coin laundries and drycleaners).“From electricity to natural gas, gasoline and diesel fuel, energy prices are going up, and that can have a drastic impact on the bottom lines of small businesses,” says Gov. Rendell. “Conserving energy and reducing pollution make sense not only for the environment, but also economically. We’re announcing our investment in these 89 innovative companies because they have recognized that truth and are investing in their future.”With more than 264,000 small businesses in the commonwealth that employ nearly 2 million people and annually pay in excess of $19 million in salaries, the Governor says helping these firms reduce energy expenditures is key to growing the economy and achieving energy independence.The Small Business Advantage Grants program provides a 50% match of up to $7,500 for equipment or processes that reduce energy consumption, promote pollution prevention, and increase profitability. Examples include high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and motion sensors that shut off lights when rooms are empty.Since Governor Rendell launched the Small Business Advantage Grants program in July 2004, more than $3.3 million has been awarded to almost 600 businesses across the state. This year’s grants will leverage almost $1.5 million in private investments.The Small Business Advantage Grant program is open to small business owners whose business or facility is located in Pennsylvania. An eligible applicant must be a for-profit business enterprise that is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity that has no more than 100 employees and is a separate legal business entity at the time the application is submitted. Applicants may be manufacturers or service providers.