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Business owners learn information on COVID funding

Local business owners tuned in to virtual Zoom meetings held Wednesday to learn about applying for COVID-19 Community Development Block Grant funding.

“There was a lot of interest,” Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce President Jason Fink said.

A total of $1 million is being offered through the program, part of the county’s $10.2 million grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities Act (CARES Act), through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 are eligible to receive grants of between $5,000 and $50,000. Grants are available only for businesses with annual sales/revenues prior to March 1, 2020 of $3 million or less and have 100 or fewer full-time employees.

Many business owners, Fink noted, were curious how the money can be spent.

Among the eligible uses for funds are operating costs, rent, mortgage interest, utility payments, eligible capital expenses, COVID-19 mitigation plans, food loss, and outdoor dining equipment.

Fink said about 40 people sat in on the first two of three informational Zoom sessions held throughout the day.

Many businesses continue to struggle with getting their operations back on track since the onset of the pandemic.

“We want to communicate out to people today that we want you to apply,” he said.

The funds do not have to be repaid.

The application deadline is Sept. 18.

More information is at www.lyco.org/covidrelief or at the Chamber at 570-326-1971.

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