DUBOIS, Pa. — The North Central PA LaunchBox Powered by Penn State DuBois partnered with Clearfield County Commissioners recently to process applications for the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP). Authorized and allocated by the state, Clearfield County distributed a total of $880,000 in grants to 31 businesses. A remaining $13,000 in LaunchBox administrative fees have been donated back and will be awarded as mini grants for businesses in need.
CHIRP funds were available to hospitality-related businesses such as hotels and restaurants that demonstrated at least a 25% reduction in gross sales for any quarter in 2020 relative to 2019, and which were able to show a net loss (after any prior funds awarded, such as PPP or CARES grants).
“The LaunchBox reviewed 60 applications and was instrumental in assisting the county in determining grant eligibility,” said Clearfield County Commissioner Dave Glass. “The commissioners are exceptionally pleased that the LaunchBox is taking their fee for services and turning it into entrepreneurial mini-grants. That's an excellent way to help us transition from COVID recovery to post-COVID growth.”
The total of $13,000 in additional grants will be awarded following the establishment of the “Start Up Clearfield County” mini-grant program to assist new entrepreneurs. Awardees will be selected throughout the summer.
Those who received funding through the CHIRP program say it has helped to keep the doors open and offered businesses better opportunity to thrive through difficult times. Eddie Tate, owner of Luigi’s Restaurant in DuBois, said, “I’m absolutely grateful for the help we got from Clearfield County, and from everyone who helped secure this grant. This will go directly into operating and purchasing. It was a blessing from heaven and we extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped our small, family run establishments like ours.”
For more information on this, or other LaunchBox initiatives, visit https://dubois.psu.edu/launchbox.