Friday, March 5, 2021

Schuylkill County Hospitality Businesses Can Now Apply for CHIRP Grants


Schuylkill County hospitality businesses that are struggling can now apply for CHIRP grants that were recently made available.

On Friday, the Schuylkill County Commissioners, Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) and NEPA Alliance announced a partnership to deliver the COVID19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) for eligible businesses in Schuylkill County. 

The CHIRP program was recently announced by Governor Wolf and approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to help hospitality businesses across the Commonwealth financially impacted by closures and lost income due to the COVID19 pandemic. The State Legislation allowed for a maximum grant amount of $50,000, however, in order to positively impact the most Schuylkill County businesses this funding will be limited to $25,000 grants at this time.

In order for these businesses to be eligible they must operate within Schuylkill County, have fewer than 300 employees, and fall within the accommodations or food services sector.

“There are so many Schuylkill County businesses that have endured closures, were subject to decreased capacity allowances and staff lay-offs during this past year,” said County Commissioner George Halcovage. “These funds will serve as much-needed lifelines to those in the hospitality and restaurant industry as these businesses press on to continue operations. Again, it is imperative that we support our local business community. We look forward to the success of this program that will be professionally managed by NEPA Alliance.”

“SEDCO has enjoyed decades-long partnerships with our county commissioners and the NEPA Alliance in the successful completion of economic development projects across Schuylkill County,” said Dave Snyder, Chair of the SEDCO Board of Directors. “Our CHIRP program coordination with NEPA allows us to call upon their regional staffing capabilities in order to process a potentially large number of applications in a relatively short time,” said Frank Zukas, President, Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO).

Hospitality businesses in Schuylkill County interested in applying for this program should visit nepa-alliance.org/chirp for program guidance and application or contact Steve Ursich at NEPA Alliance at 570-891-4649 or sursich@nepa-alliance.org.

“We are proud to assist Schuylkill County in ensuring hospitality businesses get this grant assistance as soon as possible,” said Jeffrey Box, President & CEO of NEPA Alliance.

SEDCO, has directed economic development projects throughout Schuylkill County since 1952. Its 60-member Board of Directors consists of representatives of the county-wide business, civil and community leadership. SEDCO and its predecessor agencies, in conjunction with county and local government officials, have developed industrial and business parks supporting the creation of more than 10,000 jobs in Schuylkill County.

The NEPA Alliance, a regional community and economic development agency, serves the seven counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania including Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill and Wayne. NEPA Alliance services include Business Financing, Government Contracting Assistance, International Trade Assistance, Non Profit Assistance, Transportation Planning, Research and Information, and Local Government Services.

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