Businesses in the hospitality industry can begin applying for grant funding next month after $145 million in federal dollars are being distributed to every county across the state.
Starting March 15, businesses can begin applying for grants through the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program.
The $145 million is part of Senate Bill 109, which Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law on Feb. 5. Grants will be awarded in $5,000 increments with a $50,000 maximum.
“The commonwealth’s hospitality industry is critical to the lives and livelihoods of so many Pennsylvanians, and it’s undeniable that it has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wolf said in a press release on Wednesday. “After months of calling for support for our hospitality establishments and their employees, I am pleased that the General Assembly has allocated millions of dollars in resources to protect and preserve this industry.”
The funds are currently being distributed to Certified Economic Development Organizations and Community Development Financial Institutions in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and are expected to be allocated by Feb. 28.
A hospitality business is eligible for the funding if they have less than 300 full-time equivalent employees, have a maximum tangible net worth less than $15 million, was in operation on Feb. 15 and remains in operation and the COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse economic impact.
Applicants can be prioritized for the grant if they have not received a loan or grant issued through the state or were closed by Wolf’s disaster declaration.
Businesses that can demonstrate a reduction in gross receipts of 50% or more from March 31 to Dec. 31, 2020 in comparison to the same time period in 2019 or were not open for the entirety of 2019 but can show a reduction in gross receipts for March 31 to Dec. 31 in comparison to Jan. 1 to April 1, can also be prioritized.