LEWISBURG — Union County officials on Wednesday released a list of over 130 businesses receiving up to $15,000 in grants for economic relief due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Union County (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) Small Businesses, Nonprofit Recovery and Sustainability Fund was unveiled last month. Nonprofit and for-profit businesses with no more than 100 employees were eligible.
Grants could be applied to direct expenses and revenue declines attributed to COVID-19 mitigation. Money received would need to be spent by Wednesday, Dec. 30.
The Green Dragon Foundation (GDF), known for its own contributions to Lewisburg Area School District (LASD) projects, received a grant for the top amount.
Ann Glock, GDF executive director, explained in an email how the support organization felt the consequences of the shutdown.
"Since March, all of our special events and direct mail appeals were cancelled," Glock wrote. "We rely on these fundraising efforts for unrestricted funding to support LASD students and sustain our organization. Without sufficient organizational support, fundraising for Lewisburg students' needs would be severely impacted.
"Funding from the Union County CARES Grant will absolutely help replace some of our unrestricted fundraising efforts," Glock continued. "We can continue our work of providing financial support to help meet the immediate needs of Lewisburg students. We are very grateful to Union County for their support."
Food and beverage services, lodging and retailers were among businesses which were most restricted by the "red phase" of coronavirus mitigation.
Recipients of $15,000 grants included All Star Bagels Lewisburg LLC, the Bull Run Tap House, Natural Food and Garden Store and Pizza Phi, Lewisburg. The Mifflinburg Hotel, New Berlin American Legion Home Association and David's Awesome Cookies and Pretzels also applied for and received aid.
Similarly, businesses which relied on attracting gatherings of people and thus sustained revenue decreases were also awarded grants. Among them were DJ Big Andy, Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, the Campus Theatre and The Cellars at BrookPark Farm ($15,000 apiece).
Several businesses in sectors deemed "non-essential," such as law offices and specialty retailers received the maximum amount. They included Martin and Lobos, The Kron Law Firm, Champion Shoe Sales and Repair and Brushstrokes Gallery, Art Supplies and Framing.
Salons, spas, fitness facilities and other businesses where people would normally be in close contact with one another were also shut down for a time. Those in Union County which received the maximum aid included Elite Nails, Supercuts, Pediatric Dentistry of Lewisburg, Society Hill Dental of Lewisburg, David Holman DPM and Trotfitness.
Nonprofits receiving the top amount also included Transitions of Pa., The Donald L. Heiter Community Center, Camp Mount Luther Association and the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association. Camp Setabaid and Camp Koala also received grants.
Union County commissioners announced the list on Tuesday, and noted evaluation of applications was handled by the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Central Pa. Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way.
They added that the entire amount announced in August has not been allotted and applications which were initially declined could be reviewed again. Additional grant announcements could be forthcoming.