A new COVID Relief Grant for eligible Centre County small businesses will open on July 20, 2021. The Centre County Commissioners have allocated $3,000,000 of American Rescue Plan funding for a small business grant program. The small business grant program funding will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. The Centre County Commissioners expect the first checks to be mailed to small businesses in August.

Centre County Commissioner Michael Pipe said, “The Commissioners are urging businesses to apply as soon as possible. We have allocated additional funds to help Centre County businesses get back in full operation after the disastrous effects of the pandemic.”

SEDA-COG will be assisting the Centre County Commissioners by receiving and reviewing the applications. Businesses can apply at SEDA-COG’s website starting July 20, 2021, until the funds are exhausted. A full listing of requirements can be found on the website. If a business has filed their 2019 and 2020 federal business taxes, the grant application can be completed quickly.

Kim Wheeler, SEDA-COG’s executive director said, “We know that small businesses are the backbone of the local economy, yet they’ve been negatively affected by the pandemic. That’s why we are so pleased to be helping the Centre County Commissioners collect and review applications to help these small businesses.” Grant amounts are in $2,000 increments up to a maximum of $20,000 and the funds will assist businesses in covering the business’ operating expenses incurred in 2021. Operating expenses include, but are not limited to payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities, costs of goods, supplies, raw materials, etc.

Eligibility includes, but is not limited to, being in Centre County, having fewer than 500 full-time employees, must be in business at the time of application, and plan to stay in business until at least December 31, 2021.

The grant program was created from American Rescue Plan funding through the U.S. Department of Treasury.

For more information, contact SEDA-COG Grants Manager Betsy Lockwood at 570-522-7265 or elockwood@seda-cog.org.

As a community and economic development agency, SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives. SEDA-COG also is an advocate for the interests of its communities at the state and federal levels.