Columbia County COVID-19 Relief Block Grant Round 2

October 16, 2020

SMALL BUSINESS/TOURISM GRANT PROGRAM

Over the last few months, Community Giving Foundation has continued to strengthen our relationships with nonprofits across the region. Individuals, families, and businesses have come together and given generously to the Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund in response to heightened needs in our community as a result of the pandemic. Funding from individual donors, Foundation funds, and businesses helped the Foundation award $365,000 to 78 nonprofits across our region to support those impacted by COVID-19. The Foundation has long played a role of channeling funds to the community in need in the wake of disasters and have become a trusted, frontline resource providing direct knowledge to our stakeholders.

In Columbia County, Community Giving Foundation has been active in efforts supporting the business and leadership sectors. The County Block Grant gives us the opportunity to extend this partnership by providing much needed technical assistance to process small business applications via our web-based grant management system. Review and allocation of available monies will be overseen by Harry Mathias. Funds will remain with the County Commissioners until disbursed to small businesses.

Grant applications must be completed and submitted through the Foundation’s grant website. The deadline to apply for Grantround #2 is Monday, November 9, 2020 at 11:59pm, online. For questions about the online grant application, contact Christine Orlando, Senior Program Officer, at [email protected]g or 570-752-3930 ext. 2.

About the Grant

It is the intent of the Columbia County Commissioner’s Small Business/Tourism Grant to provide qualifying businesses a grant equal to five months of the business’ fixed cost budget, with a maximum grant amount of $20,000. A statutory clause states that “priority” is to be given to businesses that did not receive a loan or grant through the Federal Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Disaster Loan Program. Therefore, those business’ fixed cost calculation will be adjusted upward by 5%.

The County Commissioners have set aside a fund of $225,000 for this grant program. If sufficient funds are not available to fully fund the intended target, all qualifying businesses will receive a pro-rata share of the $225,000 set aside amount. For purposes of this grant, “fixed cost” is defined as base costs involved in operating the business and will consist of: (1) rental lease/mortgage payments, (2) property and liability insurance costs, (3) property taxes (if paid by the business), (4) utilities to operate the business facility, (5) lost inventory due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Qualifications

Who is Eligible?

  • Any for-profit businesses or individuals doing business as businesses with base location in Columbia County, PA
  • One owner per business may apply
  • Businesses who applied and were approved or denied for funding through Grantround #1 in August 2020 are not eligible to reapply again in Grantround #2.

Approval Requirements:

  • Must be in business by March 1, 2019 and still in business on July 1, 2020
  • Must intend to stay in business through at least July 1, 2021
  • Total employees less than 100 OR an entity primarily engaged in the tourism industry
  • Business must be based in Columbia County, PA
  • Net Profit in March 1 – June 30, 2020 window must be less than Net Profit in March 1 – June 30, 2019 window
  • Must not owe federal, state or local taxes
  • Must not be subject to criminal justice process as per the question in the application

Required Documentation:

  • Most recently filed federal tax return
  • Entity documents including DBA or FBN certificate and proof of ownership
  • Business License (if sole proprietor)
  • Government Issued ID
  • Evidence or fixed costs including: mortgage/rent/lease payments, utility costs, license fees, property tax bills, property and liability insurance bills, attest to any inventory lost

*GRANT PROGRAM GUIDELINES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE*