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Relief Program Open for Restaurants, Bars

By Submitted Report
The Tube City Almanac
March 16, 2021
Posted in: Announcements

Restaurants, bars and other hospitality businesses in Allegheny County hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to help offset their losses.

The COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program began accepting applications on Monday at the county’s website.

“The hospitality industry is that sector of our economy which has probably been hardest hit by the pandemic,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Thanks to the efforts by the state legislature to provide this funding, we will be able to provide financial grants to small businesses in the county with operations most impacted by COVID-19.”

Allegheny County has contracted with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation to process applications from businesses in the county. The program will be administered by Allegheny County Economic Development.

The application is designed to be completed in a single sitting and should take no more than 15 minutes if all information has been gathered ahead of time and is ready to be uploaded. The application is not designed to be saved and completed at a later date, and incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Eligible businesses must have filed a 2019 federal tax form using a six-digit North American Industry Classification System code that began with 721 (accommodation) or 722 (food services and drinking places).

In addition, county officials said, to be eligible, each business must be able to document:

• It lost 25 percent or more in gross receipts between 2019 and 2020;
• It operates in Allegheny County;
• It has fewer than 300 full-time equivalent employees;
• It has a maximum tangible net worth of not more than $15 million;
• It was in operation on Feb. 15, 2020, remains in operation now, and does not intend to permanently cease operations within one year of the date of application; and
• It has experienced an adverse economic impact from COVID-19 which makes the grant request necessary to support ongoing operations.

Nonprofit organizations are not eligible. Landlords who lease space are not eligible. Businesses with more than one location should apply to the county program where their headquarters is located, or where their address is listed on their 2019 tax returns.

To apply, businesses will need to submit:

• IRS tax form W9 with taxpayer identification number or federal employer identification number;
• Number of full-time equivalency employees;
• Electronic copy of 2019 Business Tax Return, if the return exists, or gross receipts by quarter for 2019;
• Electronic copy of 2020 Business Tax Return, if the return exists, or gross receipts by quarter for 2020;
• Bank name, account name, account type (checking, money market, etc.), bank account number, and bank routing number;
• Electronic copy of voided check for account to which funds will be sent (paper checks will not be issued); and
• Operating expenses (including rent, payroll, utilities, etc.) incurred between March 1, 2020 and time of application that have not already been offset by other grants, reimbursements or forgivable loans.

Grants will be between $5,000 and $50,000 in $5,000 increments depending on business size in revenue.

Originally published March 16, 2021.

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