HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on all segments of our communities. Some of the hardest hit are small businesses.
Now an effort is underway in the COVID-19 hot zone of Hazleton to help those businesses as they face the challenges created by the pandemic.
Hazleton has been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Community leaders are coming together to lend a financial hand to small businesses.
Joe Scarcella, Owner of Metallo’s Formalwear, tells us, “It should be able to help me and now other small businesses too.”
For the first time in 45 years, Scarcella was forced to close his doors.
Scarcella says, “I’ve talked to other people, vendors that deal with the clientele that I deal with teenagers for proms, couples planning weddings. It’s almost like the shovel had broken the ground.”
Mary Malone, President of Greater Chamber of Commerce says, “The small businesses are not only the heartbeat and economic best of any community but in particular the Chamber.”
The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce is spearheading an effort called “The Small Business Emergency Relief Plan”.
Malone tells us, “One of the issues we found out us that our small businesses need our community to act quickly in order to be prepared to either reopen or get started in the new normal.”
So the plan is to give grants to businesses to help them get back on their financial feet.
“But the first step to it, actually raise $75,000 dollars that we will use for those micro-grants to small businesses in the Greater Hazleton Area,” says Malone.
The fundraising effort will run for the next month and anyone can make a donation. Businesses can apply for a grant starting Monday.
To learn more about the Greater Hazleton Civic Partnership click here.