SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by assisting communities and businesses with $28.5 million of COVID funds in its 11-county region from March through October.
In addition to the COVID funds, the agency’s total investment in the region from January 2019 through June 2020 was $511.2 million.
SEDA-COG Board President Rich Ridgway thanked the agency for its assistance.
“As board president, I have been more involved than ever with SEDA-COG this year, and I am grateful to their exhaustive efforts to fill the glaring gaps left by this pandemic. This agency is first-rate at how it continually adapts to the ever-changing economic climate presented to it since its founding in 1957,” Ridgway said.
Mike Fisher, SEDA-COG assistant executive director, said the agency has sought to meet its member counties’ needs throughout the economic crisis the pandemic has wrought.
“We know this is an incredibly difficult time for people and businesses. We saw a way we could provide further assistance by assisting with COVID-specific funds in our communities,” Fisher said. “Our staff has gone above and beyond, especially during these extraordinary circumstances, to meet our counties’ needs.”
As part of the agency’s total investment, SEDA-COG helped to administer $25.8 million in COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant (CRBG) funds on behalf of five of its counties, in addition to $980,000 for Sullivan County.
The CRBG funds are for the prevention, preparedness, and response to the COVID-19 crisis. Funds were used to assist municipalities, small businesses, and nonprofits pay for COVID-related costs. The funds are from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities Act (CARES Act), through the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
SEDA-COG provided professional expertise and grant administrative services for the CRBG funds, as well as activity development and management to ensure accuracy and adherence with federal and state regulations.
Additionally, SEDA-COG loaned $2.6 million to 30 businesses. The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) had awarded SEDA-COG $6.3 million from the CARES Act for these COVID-related revolving loan funds.
Finally, SEDA-COG invested $101,632 in 28 homes through the LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program. Residents in seven of SEDA-COG’s counties had their heating unit repaired or replaced at no cost through August, thanks to CARES Act funds the agency secured. awarded to the agency. The Crisis program normally ends in April, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was extended from May through August.
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. For more information, visit www.seda-cog.org.
SEDA-COG’s COVID-related assistance in the region (March – October 2020):
$28.5 million total:
· $25.8 million administration of CRBG funds
· $2.6 million loaned to 30 businesses from EDA funds
· $101,632 invested in 28 homes from LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program