WAYNE AND PIKE COUNTIES, PA — Small businesses and nonprofits in NEPA have until the end of the month to apply for COVID-19 relief grants. Both Wayne and Pike counties have received around $4 million to develop their own funding programs. Last week, Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith emphasized that this money did not come from county taxes but from the federal COVID-19 relief program administered by the state.
Funding can be used to offset financial losses due to the pandemic and expenses incurred to pay for safety measures implemented.
Wayne has allocated $2.4 million of its grant funding for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, sole proprietors without employees and nonprofit organizations. The rest is going toward administrative costs, broadband deployment and behavioral health and substance use treatment.
Pike County allocated $500,000 for sole proprietors and businesses with $1 million or more in revenue but fewer than 100 employees; $1.3 million for hospitality and tourism businesses; $1.25 million for county and municipal COVID-19 expenses; $500,000 for nonprofits; $600,00 for emergency services; $60,000 for mental health/drug and alcohol services; $200,000 for broadband; $350,000 for PPE reimbursements; and $100,800 for administration.
Businesses and organizations in Wayne County can apply at www.waynecounty
cares.com through Friday, August 21. Those in Pike can do so at www.pikeforward.com through Friday, August 28.
Both counties are working with Hailstone Economic in Scranton to assist with the application process. Smith said that this consulting firm will identify other funding pools that applicants are eligible for to ensure that this program’s money stays reserved for businesses and organizations that cannot find relief anywhere else. Representatives from WEDCO, The Chamber of the Northern Poconos, Downtown Hawley Partnership and Greater Honesdale Partnership will also be involved in the decision-making process for Wayne.
Commissioner Jocelyn Cramer noted that this is not a “first come, first serve” program, but that the county and its partners will make decisions once all applications have been received.
“We’re very happy that we can offer this; we wish we had more,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a pool that’s divvied up the best we can to make it as meaningful as we can with the number of applications that we get.”
Pike County applicants with questions about the program can contact Robert Ruiz from human services at 570/296-3434 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sara Hailstone from Hailstone Economic at 570/687-6112 or email@example.com.
Wayne County applicants can call Jessica Dreistadt from Hailstone Economic at 484/225-4929.
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