Lee urges local organizations to apply for Covid-related grant programs

Grants can help nonprofits, businesses weather coronavirus crisis

PITTSBURGH, July 14 – As Pennsylvania continues to deal with the scourge of the coronavirus, state Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, is urging local businesses, nonprofits and organizations to apply for two state grant programs.

Two of the programs currently accepting applications include $10 million in federal funds to address food availability in communities, and a second that encourages nonprofits to invest in projects to address COVID-19 and social justice issues.

“As these funds begin to flow into communities to help them address the challenges brought on by the coronavirus, it is critical that our local organizations, nonprofits and businesses apply to secure investments in our community,” Lee said. “Our community organizations won’t get funded if they don’t apply, which is why I am trying to spread the word that these programs are available – and that my office can help them apply.”

The two programs Lee wanted to draw attention to were:

                                                            

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: Fresh Food Financing Initiative COVID-19 Relief Fund  

What: $10 million in federal CARES Act funds available to Pennsylvania businesses that have worked to maintain access to fresh, healthy food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who Can Apply: For-profit, nonprofit, or cooperative entities, such as grocery stores, corner stores, convenience stores, neighborhood stores, bodegas, food hubs, mobile markets, co-ops, farmers markets, on-farm markets, and urban farms, community gardens and food aggregation and processing centers with a direct connection to direct-to-consumer retail outlets.

Use: For costs related to COVID-19 that have been incurred between March 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020, such as higher operating costs, equipment purchases, inventory, food access technology and other costs.

Application Deadline: Aug. 14

More Information: Click on https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Food_Security/Pages/Fresh-Food-Financing-Initiative-COVID-19.aspx.

Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development: Neighborhood Assistance Program

Eligibility: 501c3 nonprofits

Use: Tax credit program to encourage businesses to invest in projects by eligible nonprofits to improve distressed areas. Projects can include affordable housing, community economic development, community services, education, neighborhood conservation, crime prevention, job training or charitable food assistance. A new and special-priority category this year is COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Justice Issues, which can include a variety of COVID related services as well as projects that strive to increase awareness of or improve social justice issues within marginalized communities in Pennsylvania. See guidelines for more information.

Application Deadline: Aug. 31

More Information: Click on https://dced.pa.gov/programs/neighborhood-assistance-program-nap/.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their projects prior to application with their Regional DCED Office: https://dced.pa.gov/dced-regional-offices/.