100 businesses in the Lehigh Valley recently received checks for $1500 dollars from the area’s chamber of commerce. More may be on the way soon

Written by on April 13, 2020

100 businesses in the Lehigh Valley recently received checks for $1500 dollars from the area’s chamber of commerce. More may be on the way soon

By Staci Inez

April 13, 2020

Photo | Staci Inez / WLVR

The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce has launched a new effort to help financially support shuttered local businesses in the region.

WLVR’s Staci Inez reported on the program and the community’s response.

Small businesses make up a large part of the local economy in the Lehigh Valley, so The Chamber stepped in to provide some relief.

COO Frank Facciano says last week they wrote checks to 100 businesses — kicking off a first round of $1,500 grants.

“It’s really unrestricted…whatever they feel they need it for, they can use it for,” said Facciano.

Apollo Grill owner Rachel Griffith was among the recipients.

“When they told me we received the grant, there were so many reasons that it was a blessing,” said Griffith.

Griffith says the money will help pay for employees’ health insurance while the dining room is closed. 

The chamber partnered with BB&T, David Jaindl and Equinox Benefits Consulting to put together a $150,000 pool for the effort.

Recipient Erika Berardinucci, who owns Bella Bridesmaids, says she’s paying bills and running ads to let people know they’re still doing business remotely.

“We’re talking to the bride or bridesmaid from the comfort of their own home. We’re showing them dresses by pulling them off our rack and putting them on a rolling rack or even dressing up our manikins or even trying on the dresses ourselves,” said Berardinucci. 

The grants have been so popular — and needed — that The Chamber has already started fundraising for the next round. 


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