Through the Centre County Commissioners Small Business Grant, using funds distributed under the American Rescue Plan, over 250 small businesses received assistance totaling $2.7 million dollars.
Businesses in Centre County were able to apply for these funds from July through October of 2021. Funds could help cover operating expenses incurred during 2021. Operating expenses included but were not limited to payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities, costs of goods, supplies, raw materials, etc. The average amount of grant funds awarded was $10,767.44.
SEDA-COG worked with independent contractor, Harry Mathias, for setting up the grant parameters, application, and review. Applicants were selected based on loss of revenue, having fewer than 500 full time employees, and impact felt from the COVID-19 pandemic. SEDA-COG worked in partnership with small businesses and the Centre County Commissioners to ensure they received the support they needed, including handling the accounting and distributing of grants funds.
Kim Wheeler, Executive Director of SEDA-COG says, “The Commissioners of Centre County recognized the need to support a diverse range of small businesses during an extremely trying time. SEDA-COG is grateful for this leadership in the region that had a positive impact on so many businesses and their families. The opportunity to collaborate with our member counties and coordinate this kind of support for the region’s economy is of upmost importance to us.”
“We appreciate SEDA-COG’s assistance in awarding the money so quickly to so many small businesses throughout the 4th largest county in Pennsylvania by area. Without SEDA-COG’s help, disbursement of the small business grant funds would have been delayed,” says Centre County Commissioner Mark Higgins.
Commissioner Higgins continued, “The Centre County small business community has been very appreciative of the Commissioners’ assistance. We have actually seen fewer businesses close than usual. Since so many of our businesses survived, our downtowns are now thriving. We also want to thank the citizens of Centre County for strongly supporting their locally owned businesses.”
SEDA-COG is a community and economic development agency in Lewisburg and is one of seven Local Development Districts in Pennsylvania. SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in the 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives.