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2021 COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program Opens

March 1, 2021 - The Bedford County Commissioners have announced the availability of a new grant program for hospitality businesses that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19.

The new Covid-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program, CHIRP, was recently passed by the state legislature. The program will provide $145 million statewide with county allocations based on population.   Bedford County will receive $547,000.

"We're very pleased to offer this program to our hospitality businesses. This industry has been devastated by the pandemic. Since the legislation was passed in early February, we have been diligently working access these monies and launch the application process. Eligibility, application requirements and program design have been developed from the state legislation," stated the Board of Bedford County Commissioners.

Grants will be awarded in increments of $5,000 with a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $50,000.   Grants may not be used to pay expenses that were reimbursed by other Covid-19 programs, including the CARES Act.

The eligibility criteria are:

  • Business must have been in operation prior to February 15, 2020.
  • Operates a place of business within this Commonwealth having a NAICS designation within the Accommodation subsector (721) or Food Services and Drinking Places subsector (722) and where accommodations, food or drink is served to or provided for the public, with or without charge.
  • Business has fewer than 300 full-time equivalent employees.
  • Business/owner has a tangible net worth of not more than $15,000,000.
  • Business must have experienced a reduction in revenue in 2020.
  • Eligible operating expenses must have been incurred between March 1, 2020 and date of application.

Priority will be given to businesses with the following:

  • Greater than 50% reduction in revenue in 2020
  • Mandated to fully close by the disaster proclamation issued by the Governor on March 6, 2020
  • Received no other CARES funding through federal, state, county or local governmental programs

Applications will be accepted and reviewed in three rounds. Round 1 opens on March 15 and awards will be announced within 30 days. Rounds 2 and 3 will follow.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis until the funds have been exhausted or June 15, 2021, whichever is first. Small businesses are encouraged to begin preparing their applications as soon as possible.

The program administrator, which will process the applications, will be JIDC, a regional economic development agency that provides numerous small business loan programs to Bedford County businesses.

For more infmmation, contact Bette Slayton, Bedford County Development Association at 814-623-4816, slayton@bcda.org.; or Michele Clapper, JIDC, 814-262-8368, mclapper@ jari.com

Please see the following links for the full press release, program details, and application.
Official Press Release
CHIRP Application
CHIRP Information