Dauphin County Commissioners announce small business and nonprofit COVID-19 recovery grant program

On Friday, Aug. 28, small businesses and nonprofits can apply for grant funding to help with coronavirus-related expenses as part of a program launched by the Dauphin County Commissioners. Funding for the grants is part of the $25.1 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money the county received from the state.

The online application for the Dauphin County COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program will be available at www.dauphincounty.org/cares. Applications must be filed by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14. Dauphin County Community and Economic Development will administer the program.

“We know the need for financial assistance is great among small businesses and nonprofits,” said Commissioner Mike Pries. “Businesses and nonprofits may apply for up to $35,000, or 25 percent, of operating expenses, whichever is less.”

Businesses located in the county with less than 100 employees – or companies in the tourism industry with less than 500 workers – are eligible to apply. Nonprofits are eligible as long as they deliver services in the county. While businesses and nonprofits that received a Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster loan can still apply, the amount of funding previously received will be considered in awarding grants. 

“We understand that the shutdowns and other disruptions caused by the pandemic are hurting the businesses and nonprofits on which our community depends,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “This grant program is designed to lessen the financial blow and get the economy back on track.’’

Earlier this year, the commissioners helped local businesses by awarding $10,000 and $20,000 grants to more than 70 businesses throughout the county as part of a separate program funded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We especially encourage those businesses and nonprofits that have not already received some assistance to apply,’’ said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “While we can’t replace all the losses and expenses caused by the pandemic, we hope the relief we provide can keep them from having to close their doors permanently.’’

For more information about the Dauphin County COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program, call 717-780-6250 or go to www.dauphincounty.org/cares.