The Dauphin County commissioners today approved the distribution of $17 million in emergency grants for pandemic relief.
The federal CARES Act grants will go to 20 municipalities in the county, 190 small businesses and 57 nonprofit groups, according to the county.
“This critical funding will help lessen the financial burden and keep the doors of many businesses and nonprofits open,” said commissioner Mike Pries, who oversees the county’s Office of Community and Economic Development (DCED), which administers the grant program. “It will also help local governments with the unanticipated costs associated with coronavirus, from purchasing personal protective equipment and technology for remote work to covering police and first responders’ salaries.”
The distribution includes $2.83 million for Harrisburg city, $150,000 for Visit Hershey & Harrisburg and assistance for many small businesses and nonprofits, including restaurants, shops, arts groups and professional organizations.
Businesses located in the county with less than 100 employees—or companies in the tourism industry with less than 500 workers—were eligible to apply for up to $35,000, or 25 percent, of operating expenses, whichever was less. Nonprofits were eligible if they delivered services in the county.
Although businesses and nonprofits that received a Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster loan could still apply, the amount of funding previously received was considered in awarding grants.
“The small business community, the backbone of our economy, has sustained a massive blow in recent months,” said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “Restaurants, hotels, salons and other small businesses have been hit hard by state’s shutdown and continued restrictions, leaving many struggling to recover.”
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