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March 03, 2021

Pennsylvania creates $145 million COVID-19 relief program for hospitality industry

Grants between $5,000 and $50,000 will be available

Business COVID-19
Wolf Hospitality Relief Governor Tom Wolf/Flickr

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf answers questions from the press after announcing the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program, a new grant program established to support local businesses in the hospitality industry that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new grant program in Pennsylvania will provide $145 million in relief to the state's hospitality industry businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tom Wolf said Tuesday.

The COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program will cover all 67 counties in Pennsylvania and will provide grants in $5,000 increments up to $50,000.

County will receive block grants for the program and will administer funding through one or more Certified Economic Development Organizations or Certified Development Financial Institutions, which will process applications from businesses.

"For so many businesses in the hospitality industry, taking the necessary steps that keep employees and patrons safe directly hurts their bottom line," Wolf said. "After all the hardships businesses have endured, and all of the work they have done to keep their communities safer, they need and deserve our help. The COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program will provide immediate relief to these businesses, and I urge them to apply as soon as the program opens in their county."

Grant applications and program guidelines are available at the website of the Department of Community and Economic Development. CEDOs and CDFIs must begin accepting applications from businesses by March 15.

COVID-19's impact has been devastating on patterns of travel and tourism, which has resulted in unprecedented vacancies at hotels around the world. With an uncertain timeline ahead and limited financial resources available for typical vacationers, the industry faces an uncertain path.

In Pennsylvania, the Hospitality Assistance Response of PA has provided more than $400,000 in direct support to hospitality workers affected by the pandemic. The industry employed approximately 700,000 people in Pennsylvania prior to the pandemic, representing about 10% of the state's workforce.