The Clearfield County Commissioners were allocated a total of $7,157,429 in funds by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to provide relief to the citizens and small businesses operating in our county.
The criteria for the small business grant were quite clear. Did you lose revenue (in accounting, revenue is the income that a business has from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers) from the time period of March 1 through July 31, 2020 versus the same time period in 2019?
Priority would be given to businesses that did not receive a federal Small Business Association (SBA) loan as part of the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and then based on lost revenue.
Commissioners Tony Scotto, John Sobel and Dave Glass went against the advice of advisors, and changed the calculation to be able to deny us and many other small businesses assistance when there are funds available.
Their goal is to keep as much money to fund county pet projects instead of helping the taxpayers of the county.
Commissioners Scotto, Glass and Sobel told their advisors to use the profit and loss statements instead of the lost revenue as required by the guidelines to determine whether a business was eligible.
The Clearfield County Commissioners punished those businesses that cut expenses, adopted all the CDC guidelines and figured out a way to generate a profit in the months of May, June and July of 2020.
The calculation is based on revenue. The fact that our sales revenue was down almost a million dollars was not properly considered along with many more small businesses.
Profitability was never part of the consideration because that is easily falsified. Revenue/sales are reported to the state for sales tax and are much harder to falsify.
In summary, if you applied for and were denied a COVID-19 DCED grant by the Clearfield County Commissioners, it was done under improper interpretation of the guidelines for the benefit of the county.
Contact your legislator, accountant and attorney and contact the county commissioners and hold them accountable. That $7,157,429 is paid by the small business owners of this county and should be returned to the people who need it.
Robb Brown, President
Clearfield Equipment Co. Inc.