Hospitality industry grants still available

CLARION The Northwest Commission is still accepting applications for the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) pertaining to businesses in the hospitality industry located in Clarion, Forest, Venango and Warren Counties.

Grants will be awarded to businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in increments beginning at $5,000.

Counties will be looking to begin allocating and awarding grant funds to eligible businesses in the coming weeks.

CHIRP was established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to help hospitality industry businesses as they reopen and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Each county in the state has been allocated funds from the $145 million workmen's compensation surplus.

"The $145 million was allocated to all 67 Pennsylvania counties based on their population in the 2019 census update," said Rebecca Beach, Northwest Commission Loan Program Manager.

"Using this data, it was determined that Clarion, Forest, Venango and Warren Counties will receive $435,363, $82,082, $573,884 and $443,892, respectively," said Beach.

The program aims to assist with business expenses not already paid by other federal, state or local grants.To be eligible, businesses will be required to document a loss of at least 25 percent of gross revenue in any quarter of 2020 in comparison to the same quarter in 2019.

Those who were part of the Commonwealth's mandated shut down due to the pandemic, had 50 percent or more loss of gross revenue, and have not received other grants will be given priority consideration for the funds.

The Northwest Commission is currently accepting online applications.A link to the online application can be found on the Clarion, Forest, Venango, and Warren County websites as well as on the Northwest Commission website.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until funding has been exhausted, or June 15, 2021, whichever occurs first.

If businesses have questions about the program, eligibility or how to apply, they are encouraged to contact the Northwest Commission at or Rebecca Beach at (814) 677-4800, ext. 115.

If your business is located in Clarion, Forest, Venango, or Warren Counties and you would like to submit an online application, go to https://