New state grants planned for Pa. hospitality businesses affected by pandemic

Written by on March 3, 2021

 New state grants planned for Pa. hospitality businesses affected by pandemic 

By Sam Dunklau / WITF

March 3, 2021

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

Hospitality businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply for new state grants in about two weeks.

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Restaurant and bar owners have pressured state lawmakers for months to give their struggling businesses more help. In return, the lawmakers approved $145 million in direct grants.

A grant program offered last year, and paycheck protection loans, haven’t been enough for many small shops.

But Gov. Tom Wolf says starting March 15, businesses can apply for grants of between $5,000 and $50,000 through their local economic development organization.

“We need to do more to support a strong economic recovery from COVID-19, and that’s why this program is so important,” Wolf says. 

Dennis Davin of the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development says the grants are just one part of the recovery effort.

“We know the entire problem won’t be solved with $145 million, and we’re hopeful that additional stimulus funding is going to be coming from the federal government very soon. But this state funding will provide much-needed relief to so many hospitality businesses across the Commonwealth,” Davin says. 

Owners must demonstrate they lost at least a quarter of their revenue during the pandemic.

Wolf says first-time applicants and those in underserved communities will get priority.

The total funding available varies by county. More populated counties are getting a bigger share of the money, which is coming from the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Fund.

Program guidelines are available on DCED’s website.

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