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Boscola Bulletin

Small Business Grants: LEHIGH COUNTY

Northampton County

The Lehigh County COVID-19 Relief Small Business Grant Program is now accepting applications! Lehigh County Council has approved this Grant Program partnered with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce that will distribute $5 million dollars of CARES Act Funds to Lehigh County small businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

Please use this link to view or download the eligibility guidelines to apply for up to $15,000 to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 related expenses.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

  1. $5 million of Lehigh County COVID 19 County Relief Block Grant Program was designated by the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners for the Lehigh County COVID-19 Relief Small Business Grant Program that will be administered by the County Administration in Partnership with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

  2. Lehigh County Businesses with fewer than 100 employees may apply for up to a $15,000 grant for COVID-19 related expenses.

  3. The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce will conduct outreach and marketing to ensure small, vulnerable and disadvantaged businesses have access to the grant application platform.

  4. The Greater Lehigh valley Chamber of Commerce will provide technical assistance to business owners during application preparation and online submission.

  5. Once applications are received, Lehigh County DCED in partnership with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce will process applications and review for administrative completeness.

  6. Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of Lehigh County Administration, Lehigh County Board of Commissioners members and the Greater Lehigh valley Chamber of Commerce who will make recommendations to the Lehigh County Executive. Priority will be given to businesses that have not received other state or federal COVID-19 grant assistance and/or funding.

  7. The County Executive will make final recommendations to Lehigh County Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners will consider each application for approval or denial.

  8. Lehigh County will fund grants to approved businesses.

  9. Businesses will be required to provide certifications regarding accuracy and truthfulness of information submitted in the application. Applicants must be aware of such certifications outlined in these guidelines.

  10. Grant recipients must agree to comply with and be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in Lehigh County Administrative Code Section 13.15(g).

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

  1. Grants of up to $15,000 are available for small businesses that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related statewide business closure.

  2. Grants are available only for businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees (FTEs).

  3. Eligible businesses must operate primarily in Lehigh County and must file a Pennsylvania tax return. Applicants will self-certify that 51% or more of revenues are generated in PA.

  4. Eligible businesses may be structured as C-corporations, S-corporations, limited liability corporations, sole proprietors, independent contractors or self-employed individuals.

  5. Businesses must have must have been in operation as of March 1, 2019.

  6. Businesses must currently be operating or have a clear plan to re-open once the Commonwealth permits re-opening of the business.

ELIGIBLE USES OF FUNDING

  1. Payroll costs, costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums.

  2. Working capital for the purpose of paying mortgage principal and interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments); and principal and interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020.

  3. Rent payments, utility payments.

  4. Working capital for the purpose of covering the costs of re-opening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to the state-mandated business closure period commencing March 2020, as long as the expense was incurred do to COVID-19.

  5. Any expenses (costs) incurred related to the expense of implementing COVID-19, including but not limited to specialized equipment, barriers, PDE’s, and employee training expense to ensure compliance with state and federal CDC guidelines for reopening.

  6. Any Covid-19 related expenses not already paid for with other relief measures such as state grants or loans, US SBA Paycheck Protection Loans, local or regional grant and/or loan programs.

APPLY TODAY!

Deadline Approaching: Hazard Pay for Frontline Workers is Approaching

The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program was established to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in sectors that are vital to every Pennsylvanians’ existence. The program will help employers provide hazard pay for their employees to retain current employees. This reimbursement-based grant is for employers who will be offering hazard pay over the eligible program period.

NOTE: Individuals are not eligible applicants for the Hazard Pay Grant Program. Applicants MUST be employers

Applications will be received through 4:00p THIS FRIDAY, July 31, 2020. To apply for funding, applications must be submitted through the Electronic Single Application (ESA). For any questions, contact DCED Customer Service by calling 1.866.466.3972 or by email at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov.

COVID-19 Housing Assistance

The CARES Rent Relief Program (RRP)

PHFAThe Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, provided $3.9 billion for Pennsylvania and is intended to help people hurt economically during the pandemic. In late May, the General Assembly directed $175 million of these CARES dollars to PHFA to provide assistance for struggling renters and homeowners. The portion for rent assistance is at least $150 million.

Below you will find the application needed to request CARES rental assistance. Links are also provided to additional helpful information.

PHFA has identified organizations in all 67 counties to process the large number of rent relief applications anticipated. You will submit your application and supporting paperwork to these county organizations for review, following instructions in the application.

The county organizations are now accepting completed applications for rent assistance.

The CARES funding for renters must be completely distributed by November 30, 2020.
Steps to apply:

  1. There are 3 applications provided below. Print all 3. The applications require both renter and landlord involvement.

  2. Complete all 3 applications. The landlord must complete the landlord application and the landlord-property certification.

  3. Gather any supplemental documentation requested in the 3 applications.

  4. Below is the contact information for Lehigh & Northampton Counties – if you need information for additional counties, you can click here: https://www.phfa.org/forms/pacares/rental/rrp-county-contact-list.pdf.

  5. Mail your 3 application and supporting documents to your participating county organization, or you can e-mail them. These organizations are processing all applications.

  6. Wait for a response from your county on whether you are approved.

LEHIGH COUNTY:
Lehigh County - Department of Human Services
17 South 7th Street
Allentown, PA 18101
610.782.3200
RRP@lehighcounty.org
https://www.lehighcounty.org/

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY:
Northampton County - Department of Community & Economic Development
2801 Emrick Blvd Bethlehem, PA 18020
610.829.6306
https://www.northamptoncounty.org/CMTYECDV/Pages/ default.aspx

The CARES Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program (PMAP)

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, provided $3.9 billion for Pennsylvania and is intended to help people hurt economically during the pandemic. In late May, the General Assembly directed $175 million of these CARES dollars to PHFA to provide assistance for struggling renters and homeowners. The portion for mortgage assistance is $25 million.

Below you will find the application needed to request CARES mortgage relief. Links are also provided to additional helpful information.

You will submit your application and supporting paperwork to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) for review, following instructions in the application.

PHFA is now accepting completed applications for mortgage assistance.

The CARES funding for mortgage relief must be completely distributed by November 30, 2020.

Steps to apply:

OPTION ONE is completely online and the fastest method:

  1. Click on the link for the online application, provided below.
  2. Complete the application completely online. 
  3. Submit your application online and wait to hear back from PHFA on whether your application is complete.  You’ll be notified if additional information is needed.

OPTION TWO is paper-based:

  1. Click on the link for the downloadable PMAP application for printing and mailing.
  2. Download the application.
  3. Use the fillable fields option, or print the application and fill it out with a pen.
  4. Mail your application back to PHFA using the address at the top of the form. It cannot be emailed.
  5. Wait to hear back from PHFA about whether your application is complete.  You’ll be notified if additional information is needed.  

Last Week: #SenDemPolicy Hearing
Worker Protections During COVID19

Last week, the Joint Senate & House Democratic Policy Committee hosted a hearing last week focusing on worker protection during the #COVID19 Pandemic.  We were provided with excellent, facts, data and recommendations that we can utilize as we craft legislation to help and protect our workers in the best ways possible going forward. 

To learn more about the hearing and the solutions discussed – or to watch the hearing in its entirety, WATCH BELOW:

Policy Hearing on Worker Protection :: July 22, 2020

UPCOMING: #SenDemPolicy Hearing

Please note that the Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a Policy Hearing co-chaired by Senators Maria Collett, Larry Farnese, and Tim Kearney on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. The meeting will be held virtually via ZOOM.

The purpose of this hearing is to learn how we, as a Commonwealth, can responsibly re-open schools this fall. The meeting will be open for the public to participate.

Responsible School Re-Opening

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
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