By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
My office continues to receive calls from folks who are unable to get the unemployment benefits they deserve and small business owners struggling to stay alive as a result of the ongoing pandemic. In an effort to help these individuals, I recently voted to approve a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that will bring some relief to Lancaster County.
Senate Bill 109
, which has been signed into law, allocates $145 million in grants for the hard-hit restaurant and hospitality industry, $6.2 million of which will go to Lancaster County restaurant and hospitality businesses. These businesses have been among the hardest hit financially by Gov. Wolf’s extreme shutdown orders.
A total of $147 million will be allocated through a grant process managed by a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO) or Community Development Financial Institution (CFDI) in each county, such as the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, as follows:
• No later than March 1, 2021, each county must contract with a CEDO or CFDI to award grants to alleviate revenue losses and to pay eligible operating expenses to eligible applicants.
• No later than March 15, 2021, each CEDO or CFDI shall receive application on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted or June 15, 2021, whichever is earlier.
• By June 15, 2021, each CEDO or CFDI shall approve or disapprove applications received.
Statewide, the bill also provides $570 million for rental and utility assistance distribution of which will be operated by each county; and $197 million in funding for educational institutions, such as nonpublic schools, intermediate units, career and technical schools, charters schools for the deaf and blind, approved private schools, community colleges and the PA State System of Higher Education.