The second phase of a new COVID-19 relief grant is now open for eligible hospitality industry businesses, and the Juniata County Commissioners are urging more businesses to apply.

Only two businesses in the county applied for the first phase of the Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP), which is now closed. The program originally opened March 15.

Juniata County was awarded a total of $280,475 for the program. From that, $30,000 was awarded to the two businesses, leaving $249,795 to be allocated before the program closes by June 15.

The County Commissioners said they hope more businesses apply before the funds are gone.

“The grant is only available until funds are exhausted or June 15 this year, whichever comes first,” the Commissioners said. “This is an opportunity to help our businesses further recover from the pandemic’s economic impacts, and we hope many take advantage of it.”

Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 to help alleviate 2020 revenue losses, and pay for eligible operating expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For-profit hospitality businesses can view full guidelines and apply at the Community Giving Foundation’s website at

If Juniata County businesses need assistance with the completion of the application, they should contact Juniata County’s Planning & Community Development Director Brad Kerstetter at or 717-436-7729.

Eligible hospitality industry businesses must be for-profit businesses which include hotels, restaurants, bars, and taverns. These businesses must fall within eligible industry codes which include the Accommodations subsector NAICS code (721) or Food Services and Drinking Places subsector (722) found here:

Eligibility includes, but is not limited to, having fewer than 300 full-time employees; a net worth that does not exceed $15 million; a 25% reduction in gross receipts in 2020 compared to 2019; and be located within Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, or Union counties.

Priority will be given to businesses that did not already receive COVID relief funds; that were subject to closure following the disaster emergency declared by Gov. Tom Wolf on March 6, 2020; or had more than a 50% reduction in gross receipts from March 31, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019.

The county contracted with SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) to manage the CHIRP grant on its behalf. SEDA-COG will receive the applications, determine eligibility for grant amounts, and disburse the funds to qualifying businesses.

The grant program was created from the law Act 1 of 2021, which was passed Feb. 5, 2021. Statewide, it provides $145 million in funding assistance to the hospitality industry businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For more information, contact SEDA-COG Grants Manager Betsy Lockwood at 570-522-7265 or

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 communities at the state and federal levels. For more information, visit