Hundreds of local businesses could be receiving financial help soon as the Lancaster County commissioners are set to vote on the first round of small business grants using federal coronavirus relief act funding.
The county received $95 million in aid through the act, and in May the commissioners set aside $25 million of that for an economic relief plan to be implemented by the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County and the Lancaster Chamber.
On Tuesday, those groups presented their plan to the commissioners to distribute the first round of $10.4 million to 423 small businesses in the county. The board is scheduled to vote on the grants at its meeting at 9:15 a.m. today.
“By industry, (agriculture) and construction were hurt the least,” Lyle Hosler, vice president of the Economic Development Company, said. He added that industries such as accommodations, day care and retail suffered the most.
“That's where you get into the 90% revenue loss.”
The grants, of up to $35,000, can be used by businesses for costs such as payroll, rent/mortgages, supplies, other operating expenses and to retrofit facilities to meet public health requirements.
A total of 1,166 businesses applied in the first round, but only 423 were deemed eligible based on a scoring system to determine which businesses needed funding most urgently.
The businesses receiving funding, their scores, and the scoring system used can be found at co.lancaster.pa.us.
Lisa Riggs, president of the Economic Development Company, said there were other businesses that likely would have qualified for the first round if not for clerical errors on their application, and she expects to bring another group of businesses before the commissioners next week.
“They know their businesses, they know how to make this work, they want to make this work,” Commissioner Ray D'Agostino said. “And a public-private partnership, where we sort of get out of your way … that’s the way we’re going to get through this, working together like that.”