Dauphin County Hospitality Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Eligible for Grant Relief – Beginning March 15

CHIRP photo

Dauphin County businesses harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for grants under Pennsylvania’s Hospitality Industry Recovery Program – with applications being accepted starting March 15. 

To be eligible, businesses must demonstrate their economic loss due to the pandemic and be intending to stay open following application.

Eligible businesses must have less than 300 full-time employees and a tangible net worth of not more than $15 million.

Hospitality businesses include hotels, bars, and restaurants.

The maximum grant award is $50,000.

“There are so many Dauphin County businesses that have endured closures, capacity crunches, and staff lay-offs during this unprecedented pandemic,” Dauphin County Commissioner Chair Jeff Haste said. “These funds will serve as much-needed lifelines.”

Dauphin County contracted with the Capital Region Economic Development Organization (CREDC, an arm of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber) to administer the program.

“Our businesses are hurting, their staff are hurting, and this program presents assistance in the financial healing for those persevering to stay open and continue serving our communities,” Commissioner Mike Pries said.

More information about the program, and eligibility is HERE.

On March 11, CREDC will host a webinar to provide guidance on how to apply.

“We want to ensure equitable and inclusive access to all businesses who qualify for this program,” Commissioner George P. Hartwick III said. “There is a really short turnaround involved and grants will be given on a first-come-first-served basis.”

As administrator, CREDC will process and underwrite eligible applications, prioritize requests in accordance with program legislation and present applications to the counties for consideration. Once grants are awarded, CREDC will contract with grantees and process grant disbursements.

“Businesses within the Harrisburg region’s hospitality and tourism sector have been severely and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said Melissa Stone, vice president of economic development at the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC. “The CHIRP grants will provide crucial support to help these businesses endure the financial strain, get back to full operation and ultimately strengthen our region’s economic recovery.”

Joe Massaro, Hilton Harrisburg General Manager, said hotels saw a 78-percent drop in business in the year since the shutdown, causing an impact to the local economy of over $1.2 billion.

“The CHIRP program will provide much-needed relief to devastated hospitality industry businesses in Dauphin County,” Massaro said.

To be eligible, applicants must:

                - Be located within the county in which they are applying

- Be for-profit and not publicly traded

- Be open for business and have been open for business on or before Feb. 15, 2020

- Remain in operation as of the date of application and not intend to permanently cease operations within one year of applying

- Have primary business activities aligned with NAICS codes 721 or 722 as of Feb. 15, 2020

- Have fewer than 300 full-time equivalent employees across all locations as of Feb. 15, 2020

- Have a maximum tangible net worth of not more than $15 million as of Feb. 15, 2020

- Must demonstrate an adverse economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of a 25% reduction in gross receipts calculated according to legislative definitions

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett Hambright, Press Secretary, 717-780-6311; bhambright@dauphinc.org.