Small businesses in hospitality industry to receive millions in grants

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Small businesses hurting from the pandemic will now have access to more grants.

In our region, thousands of small business owners will benefit as the general assembly approved the transition of $145 million.

March 2020 was the official start to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the past year, thousands of small businesses have closed their doors or implemented different strategies to keep customers, but many are still hurting. Local, county and state officials continue to try to help lessen the impact.

“What we’re really trying to do is to help the mom and pops. We want to go to the places that not only know your favorite Friday pizza order but they also support the Little League team, okay? That’s who we are in northeastern Pennsylvania,” Luzerne County manager David Pedri said.

State treasurer Stacy Garrity has made $145 million available to help small businesses in the hospitality industry, in all 67 counties.

Pedri says Luzerne County received $3.5 million.

“When we did the first round of CARES funding in December, we were able to support over 700 small businesses, over $10 million. Obviously this is a smaller amount but I think the people who need it the most we’re going to make sure they get it,” Pedri said.

“I’m going to encourage all local businesses to apply,” said Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak.

Chermak says Lackawanna County is receiving $2.3 million. Metroaction through the Scranton Greater Chamber of Commerce will distribute the money.

“For Stacy to do this, I applaud her and I am hoping even down the road there’s going to be more money that we can get out. So, you know everybody needs help,” said Chermak.

“The range that they can apply for is anywhere from $5,000 all the way up to $50,000,” said James May, Northeast Regional Public Affairs Officer, PA Department of Treasury.

May says that Garrity understands the need small business owners are facing in Bradford County.

“She sees that and wants to make this money available to the counties, so they can get it out to the small businesses in the hospitality industry that have been so hurt through this shut down,” May said.

Small businesses are encouraged to apply through their county offices or partnering agencies. However, the application process may not be up and running yet in all counties.

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