Schuylkill County Commissioners voted last week to approve up to $460,000 for hospitality businesses that were previously eligible for the CHIRP grant.
The CHIRP grant was a state-run program designed to offer financial assistance to businesses like restaurants, hotels, bars, and others in the hospitality industry.
Last year, the Commissioners hired NEPA Alliance to administer the grant program. And while the CHIRP grants were largely considered a success and money got to businesses in need promptly, there wasn’t enough money.
That $1.6 million last year wasn’t enough to fund all the businesses that applied. And some businesses last year, during the initial round of funding, apparently got short-changed.
Schuylkill County CHIRP Grant Applicants Getting Funded
The $460,000 will come from Schuylkill County’s American Rescue Plan funding. And once again, NEPA Alliance will administer the money to applicants of the original CHIRP grant program.
While this isn’t technically the CHIRP grant, Commissioners ordered NEPA Alliance to administer the money as if it were the CHIRP grant. That means the same types of businesses would be eligible and need to meet the same eligibility requirements.
Last year, Commissioner Boots Hetherington says, 65 applicants got funded with a CHIRP grant. Grants were valued up to $25,000.
“It picked up people who fell through the cracks,” Hetherington said. “This is an opportunity to use that ARP money for COVID-related situations.”
But just prior to deadline, another 16 applicants put in for a CHIRP grant. The problem was, there was no money.
The new round of funding appears destined for those 16 applicants for the CHIRP grant and to those businesses who were eligible for $10,000 or $25,000 last year but had to settle for less due to a lack of funds remaining in the CHIRP pool.
“This is a fantastic program and we’re glad that we could fill the need,” Commissioner Gary Hess said last week.
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