The Wyoming County COVID-19 Relief Block Grant is just one of numerous grants and loans that have become available over the past week from a variety of sources. The Wyoming County Commissioners want small business owners, directors of non-profit organizations, municipal leaders and renters to be aware of what is available, as the application deadlines and stipulations vary greatly.
The COVID-19 Relief Block Grant that will be administered by the County Commissioners is available to owners of businesses and non-profit organizations employing less than 100 people that have lost revenue due to the CV-19 health crisis and related shutdowns. Municipalities are eligible to recoup costs for direct expenses like modifications to meet CDC guidelines and cleaning services but not lost revenue.
Interested readers can request an application via email at WeCARE@wycopa.org. The commissioners emphasize that “less is better” when filling out the application. The responsibility is on the entity, they noted, for maintaining their own records of loss for audit purposes.
Though the eligibility of businesses and non-profits that have already participated in other government programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was initially uncertain, the commissioners encourage them to apply as well. While precedence will be given to those entities that did not receive assistance from other sources, those who received less assistance from other programs than their total loss can still qualify to recoup some of the difference.
Their primary goal is to prevent small businesses in the county from closing by providing some financial assistance as well as additional resources that might be accessed. Secondly, they share a great concern for fire companies, soup kitchens, cultural hubs, family service agencies and other non-profits that have been unable to conduct annual fundraising events and which might be overwhelmed with clients due to the shutdowns.
The amount of funding available will be determined as the county assesses and covers the costs of its own direct losses related to the coronavirus. They are relieved, however, that some FEMA funding might pay for a portion of the safety measures that have been employed at municipal buildings. That should allow for more money being available for the rest of the county.
The commissioners are running ads for three weeks and will establish an application deadline about two weeks after the ads have ended. Those who request an application by email will also receive a list of instructions and suggestions. Any further questions can be directed to the commissioners office at 570-996-2273 or 570-996-2227 between 10 am and noon..
The state will award a total of $100-million to small businesses in the Commonwealth with less than 25 employees and less than $1-million in annual gross revenue. The Small Business Assistance Program application process opened on June 30 and will extend for only 10 days. The program is being administered by Metro Action, and applications can be found online at www.pabusinessgrants.com or by calling Trehab at 570-278-5240.
Trehab is collaborating with the county to distribute an additional $168,000 in Small Business Support Grants for businesses with less than 30 employees on the payroll as of March 1, 2020. Preference will go to CDBG-designated, redevelopment and blight areas in Wyoming County, but all business owners who incurred loss are encouraged to apply.
Grants of up to $3,000 are being distributed by a private entity called PA Fund Me via www.PA30Fund.com. Eligible applicants are businesses with three to 30 employees that have been operating for at least one year in the Commonwealth and are owned and operated by a Pennsylvania resident. Promoted as “forgivable loans,” the money does not actually have to be returned. The nine board members who formed the organization ask only that the business owner “pay it forward” when possible. The commissioners have learned that nobody from the county has yet applied to PA Fund Me.
The C.E.O. (Commission on Economic Opportunity) will administer a Rent Relief Program with Wyoming County Human Services for residents who suffered at least a 30% loss of income due to COVID-19. Applications for up to $750 per month not to exceed a six-month period are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional questions may be directed to 570-836-3131.