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Start date set for hospitality grant funds

Businesses can seek amounts between $5,000 and $50,000

Blair County hospitality businesses seeking help to address COVID-19 financial losses can apply for a grant starting Tuesday.

The Altoona-Blair County Development Corp., which is administering the county’s COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Grant Program, referred to as CHIRP, has posted a grant application and related information on its website at www.abcdcorp.org/chirp.

Based on the rules set within state legislation, hospitality businesses can ask for grants between $5,000 to $50,000.

The money is available because the county received $1.38 million of the $145 million that state lawmakers authorized in early February to help protect and preserve the state’s hospitality industry.

Applications for the Blair County CHIRP grants will be accepted starting at noon Tuesday and continue through 5 p.m. March 26, the ABCD Corp. announced Wednesday.

Applications received before noon Tuesday won’t be

accepted, but they can be

resubmitted during the designated time frame, according to

ABCD’s announcement.

Before Tuesday, applicants should review the ABCD website to identify the grant application information that is required, along with supporting data and documents.

All applicants, according to ABCD, must meet the following criteria:

– Must have been in operation prior to Feb. 15, 2020.

– Must operate a place of business within the commonwealth, having an NAICS designation within the accommodation subsector (721) or food services and drinking places subsector (722) and where accommodations, food or drink is to be served or provided for the public, with or without charge.

– Must have fewer than 300 full-time equivalent employees.

– Must have a tangible net worth of not more than $15 million.

– Must have experienced at least a 25% reduction in revenue in 2020.

– Eligible operating expenses must have been incurred between March 1, 2020, and the date of the application.

ABCD has designed the grant review period from March 29 to April 5, with grant awards to be announced on or before April 30. Subsequent rounds of the grant program will be opened if money from the previous round was not exhausted.

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