The Chester County Commissioners approved today a further $10 million in funding to support small businesses and agricultural enterprises impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Available under the Chester County Main Street Preservation program, grants will be administered by the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) at the request of the Commissioners.
“This program doesn’t just help our local small businesses, it helps our neighbors, our friends and our whole community” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz. “Preserving Chester County’s main street businesses is crucial to our economy and the fact we are able to approve a second round of grants is really substantial.”
Initial eligibility requirements for the Main Street Preservation grants include businesses that have been active and for-profit since 2019 or earlier, with 2019 revenues of $5 million or less. The businesses must operate in Chester County and be open and operational at the time of grant disbursement. The application process opens at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 17th and closes on Wednesday December 23rd at 5:00 p.m. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-January.
To assist in the application process, the CCEDC is hosting a webinar on December 15, at 10:00 a.m. Business owners wishing to learn more about the grant program and ask questions about how to apply, can join the webinar at ccedcpa.com/mainstreet/. The webinar will also be livestreamed on the Chester Count Government Facebook page and will be recorded for viewing.
“We are excited to build on the success of the first round of Main Street grants and to have been asked to design a similar program that will again support small businesses located in Chester County,” said Mike Grigalonis, CCEDC’s Chief Operating Officer. “We know this funding will be vital to many businesses that are trying to figure out a way to survive the impact of the pandemic.”
Details of the Main Street Preservation program, and details of the application process and timings can be found at ccedcpa.com/mainstreet/.
Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell said, “We are doing all within the power of county government to help our small businesses and their families. While we cannot make up for the emotional strain that has been the last nine months, we believe that these grants, specifically tailored to industries most affected by the pandemic, will help resolve some of the financial burdens placed on our small businesses and their families, and give them hope for the future.”
The first round of Main Street Preservation grants was distributed in May, with nearly 250 businesses benefitting from program, receiving funding from just under $1,500 to $25,000.
One of those businesses is 3 Spoons LLC, a boutique videography company located in Downingtown. Owner CJ Witherspoon recalls projecting his highest revenue stream to date back in January. Then COVID-19 hit, and all projects lined up for the year were postponed or cancelled.
“Chester County provided this grant program and through the CCEDC, we were able to receive it, and they walked us through the entire process,” said Witherspoon. “Receiving the Main Street Grant helped tremendously. Not only did it help cover business and payroll expenses, but I could also sleep at night knowing that my family is going to be okay. That right there is worth its weight in gold.”
Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline noted, “This grant program is an important investment in the small businesses throughout the county that haven’t yet received crucial financial support to keep going. Equally important is the support that every person in Chester County can give to businesses by adhering to all health and safety guidelines – wearing a mask, keeping 6-feet apart and washing our hands regularly so that we can maintain our progress heading into 2021.”
Funding for the Main Street Preservation grants comes from CARES funding received by Chester County Government.
To join the webinar, go to https://bit.ly/3gyEJKJ
Webinar ID: 818 7218 5563