CLEARFIELD – Soon, the Clearfield County Commissioners will be helping local small businesses and non-profits recover months’ worth of financial losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the disbursement of $625 million to 60 Pennsylvania counties through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The county has received $7,157,429 for virus-related expenses through the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant Program from the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development.
On Tuesday, Commissioner Tony Scotto, chairman, announced the launch of the county’s CARES Act grant portals for small businesses and non-profits.
“This is not a loan,” reminded Scotto. “This is straight up just a grant. There will be nothing to pay back in the end but keep in mind, it is taxable income.”
Funds are available for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and non-profits for income lost between March and July due to COVID-19.
Priority will be given to those who haven’t received any funding through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) or other government programs.
“If there’s a business that hasn’t received any kind of grants or loans, you’ll go to the top of the list,” Commissioner Dave Glass said. “If you have, don’t hesitate because we can still help.”
There will also be caps on the maximum grant award. For example, if a small business has an annual gross revenue of up to $50,000, it could receive up to $5,000.
If a larger business has an annual gross revenue of over $850,000, it could receive up to $50,000. “But they’ll have to show that loss,” Glass said.
Before submission, he encouraged every business owner and non-profit to have their application thoroughly reviewed by their accountant to ensure its accuracy.
Glass said the application process is verily simple though, and he’s had several business owners test out the portal to ensure it’s user-friendly.
“… I started my career as commissioner in the middle of the Great Recession in 2008,” said Commissioner John A. Sobel. “I remember how hard that hit our small businesses and non-profits.
“They – at least – were able to count on foot traffic to sustain them. With the shutdowns and slowdowns imposed because of the COVID-19 virus, they haven’t been able to count on that.
“We are really encouraging them to apply for these grants. I remember the small businesses, the non-profits that didn’t survive or didn’t last very long after the Great Recession in 2008.
“Our small businesses directly impact our quality of life, and non-profits drive communities culturally, educationally and spiritually. We want to help them; we want to get them into next year.”
The county will accept grant applications through Aug. 17 with assistance from Clearly Ahead (small businesses) and Lisa Kovalick from the Planning Office (non-profits.).
Final grant disbursements will be decided upon by the board of commissioners and distributed as quickly as possible. For more information or questions, please contact the commissioners’ office.