WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) —  As the nation and our region moves through the COVID-19 pandemic, community leaders are getting plans in motion for the use of federal COVID recovery funds to help businesses and individuals recover from the pandemic.

Wilkes-Barre officials unveiled its blueprint Wednesday morning.

The money is coming from the American Recovery Plan. Wilkes-Barre will receive $37.1 million, which some say could be a lifeline to many people and businesses.

Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown, along with community leaders, sent a message Wednesday morning that help is on the way.

“How do we get money back to the folks that have been adversely impacted economically because of the pandemic. That’s why we put together programs today that you see. Everyone of the plans would benefit residents or business owners of the city of Wilkes-Barre,” said Mayor Brown.

The mayor unveiled a plan that includes money for home renovations and even purchases.

“These programs will be available to people who are in a primary residence, need some remodeling to be done, or if they want to come and purchase a home in the city as a primary residence.”

wilkes-barre Mayor george Brown

These programs are based on certain income requirements. The city will also provide money to the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce for business development.

“The program itself is ensuring that businesses get the start-up funds they need. We know a lot of times it’s one of the main barriers to be able to pay rent or mortgage when you are starting a business,” said Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce EVP/COO Lindsay Griffin.

Nonprofits will also get a helping hand from the city’s COVID recovery funds. The United Way will distribute those funds to agencies that help those folks in need.

“The need still exists. The resources aren’t as available so this comes as a great time for nonprofit community. We’re pleased the administration recognizes this as a priority,” said Bill Jones, president, CEO United Way of Wyoming Valley.