We are proud to be building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Pennsylvania Wilds, helping our creative makers and businesses network and learn from each other, and bringing products to market that reflect our region’s natural beauty, bounty and rural traditions, while giving an economic boost to our communities.
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania helps grow and connect unique small businesses in the region by providing branding and marketing tools; education and networking opportunities; access to new markets; and referrals to PA’s financing and technical assistance service provider network for small businesses.
WHO MAY APPLY
Across many fields - in visual arts, craft, food, architecture and design - artists and artisans who live in the Pennsylvania Wilds may apply to this program as Juried Artisan Members. Certain artisans who engage in retail activity may elect to join as juried Trading Post Members.
Businesses, non-chain retailers and restaurants, qualified entrepreneurs, organizations (for profit and nonprofit), if based in the Pennsylvania Wilds, are welcome to apply as Host Site Members.
The 12 ½ counties that comprise the region are Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren and northern Centre County (north of I-80).
HOW TO APPLY
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania reaches out to visitors using social media plus smartphone, tablet and other computer-friendly resources that rely on the internet. Members benefit greatly from this extended reach, but in the PA Wilds, easy access networking does not extend everywhere, nor are required computer skills universally held.
To take the required steps toward membership, you will need to use a combination of basic computer skills: completing an application and registering to be juried, working with & uploading your images to a digital photo album. Artisans and Creative Service Partners are only reviewed for the jury process twice a year, in September and March.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION
For proof of identity, submit copies of any one of the following with your application:
• Valid and current (unexpired) Pennsylvania Drivers License or PA State ID Card with legible dates of issuance and expiration;
•Voter registration card (stamped copy from county clerk’s office);
•Unexpired U.S. Passport or Permanent Resident Card with legible dates;
• Proof of lawful admittance for permanent residence or proof of permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.; For proof of residency (required only for new individual applicants), submit copies of any one of the following with your application;
• Current utility bill (gas, electric, phone, cable, satellite, etc.), lease agreement or property tax record (owners), showing name and address.
SALES TAX LICENSE
If you make taxable sales, you are required to obtain a PA Sales Tax License. Visit business.pa.gov and search “rev-717” for details.
STATE AND FEDERAL REGISTRATION
It is your responsibility to inform yourself about doing business in Pennsylvania. Entrepreneurs who operate under their own given name as Sole Proprietors, with zero employees, and use their Social Security Number for tax filing are not required to register their businesses with the PA Department of State. All others must register. Business establishments with paid employees must register with the state. Visit dced.pa.gov/business-assistance/small-business-assistance, where small business owners can electronically register with the PA Departments of Labor and Industry, Revenue, and State. The PA Small Business Development Center is also a useful resource. Federal regulations can change. Consult the Small Business Administration (sba.gov) and the Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov) for more about business requirements.
Food artisans, producers and retail food facilities must comply with all PA Department of Agriculture guidelines, as well as applicable state and local regulations. Applicants must have the necessary permits/licenses in hand, before submitting an application to the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. Food retail and/or wholesale operators, and their employees, must be in compliance with applicable provisions of the Federal Food Safety Act, the Retail Food Facility Safety Act and requirements referenced at the PA Dept of Agriculture site (agriculture.pa.gov).
NATIVE AMERICAN APPLICANTS
Native American works must be submitted along with a copy of applicant’s membership card in a federally or state recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, organized group or community for authenticity purposes. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 makes it illegal to sell or display with intent to sell, any product not made by Native American Indians in a way that falsely suggests it was.