A new small business grant program will soon be available to companies in most Schuylkill County communities.
According to information from Schuylkill County Commissioners, grants of up to $15,000 are available to small businesses adversely affected by the COVID pandemic.
The money for these grants – $550,000 in total – comes from the CARES Act passed in 2020 which is being funneled through the state’s Dept. of Community and Economic Development and its Community Development Block Grant fund.
Applications will be accepted starting on Aug. 2.
Schuylkill County CDBG Grant Program Available to Small Businesses
Grants are available in non-entitlement and entitlement communities under the CDBG program, according to information from the County. There are 9 CDBG entitlement communities in Schuylkill County. Of those, 8 are participating in this grant program:
- Butler Township
- Mahanoy City
- Pine Grove Township
- Wayne Township
- West Penn Township
Schuylkill Haven is not eligible for this program. The Commissioners say Haven has “directed its funding allocation to another program.”
Pottsville got its own CDBG money for a separate grant program for city businesses.
NEPA Alliance will be administering this grant program just as it did with the CHIRP grant program for hospitality businesses.
There are some simple things that qualify businesses for this grant:
- They’re located in Schuylkill County (but not Schuylkill Haven or Pottsville).
- They employee at least 1 full-time employee or several part-time employees that equal a full-time employee. And they earn less than $38,300 per year or less than $18 an hour.
- They’re a sole proprietor with no employees and earned less than $38,300 in Fiscal Year 2019.
Businesses that are awarded one of these grants must agree to remain open and not lay off any employee for 6 months after they’re told they’ve received a grant.
Several types of businesses are not eligible for this CDBG program:
- Private or commercial golf courses
- Country clubs
- Massage parlors
- Hot tub facilities
- Suntanning businesses
- Racetracks or facilities used for gambling
- Stores which have a primary business of selling alcohol for consumption off-premises
NEPA Alliance is expected to have an application available to local businesses for this grant program soon. It’ll be hosting an informational webinar to detail this CDBG program on July 28 at 2 p.m.