(WKBN) – Pennsylvania’s hospitality industry is getting a boost.
At the beginning of the month, we learned Pennsylvania will be awarding $145 million in grants to the hospitality industry. Applications are being accepted now.
That money will be spread out across all of PA’s counties based on population.
Mercer County will get $1.2 million. It’ll be doled out in increments of $5,000 with a cap of $50,000.
“It’s certainly not going to be a game-changer,” said Rod Wilt, executive director of Penn-Northwest Development Corporation. “We’re only talking about between $5,000 and $50,000, but what we’re hopeful is this will be just another little chunk to help move them along toward what we hope will be a speedy recovery in 2021. We’re going to try to be as judicious as we can with that money to make sure everybody that applies, hopefully, gets something.”
Restaurants, hotels, taverns, wineries and breweries are all eligible to apply. In order to qualify, businesses must have fewer than 300 full-time employees, have a net worth of less than $15 million, have been in operation on February 15, 2020, not plan to shut down within the next year and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
“We’ll need to see their tax return from 2019, an income statement for 2020 and a projection for where they think they will be in 2021,” Wilt said. “We’ll put together a package based on our review. We’ll send them to the county, the county will review our recommendation, send it back to us and then we’ll enter into a grant agreement with each of the recipients and get the money out as quickly as we can.”
It’s part of CHIRP — COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program. Each county is working one or more Certified Economic Development Organizations or Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute the grant funding.
You can call or check out the website of any of the organizations giving out the money:
- Penn-Northwest Development Corporation, 724-662-3705
- Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission, 814-677-4800