As Hospitality Industry Recovery Program opens in Erie, Merski and Harkins urge local bars, restaurants to apply

ERIE, March 8 – The application period for Pennsylvania’s Hospitality Industry Recovery Program opens today for the Erie business community and state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins are urging bars, restaurants and others in the hospitality industry to apply. 

“Of all the industries affected by the pandemic, bars and restaurants have been some of the hardest hit, and Erie is no exception,” Merski said. “They have faithfully complied with shutdown orders and restrictions, and that has come at a huge price. Now that the application process is open, local hospitality businesses have an opportunity to share in more than $3 million in funding. I’m urging those business owners to apply as soon as possible to get the relief flowing.”

“The pandemic has placed a stranglehold on local mom-and-pop restaurants, bars, catering businesses and others in the industry,” Harkins added. “Although our community has been doing what it can to support these businesses, shutdowns and restrictions have made that extremely difficult. The funding program opening today can provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to help businesses get back on their feet, and I am encouraging businesses to apply immediately.”

The lawmakers said businesses can apply here.

To qualify, a business must:

  • Have a North American Industry Classification System designation in the Accommodation subsector (721) or Food Services and Drinking Places subsector (722) and where accommodations, food or drink is served to the public, with or without charge.
  • Have fewer than 300 full-time equivalent employees.
  • Have maximum tangible net worth of not more than $15 million.
  • Have been in operation on Feb. 15, 2020, remain in operation, and does not intend to permanently cease operations within one year of the date of application.
  • Have been adversely affected by COVID-19, making the grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the eligible applicant.

Priority will be given to applicants that have not received a loan or grant under state or federal authority, were subject to closure by the governor’s disaster declaration, or can demonstrate a reduction in gross receipts. More on program qualifications and priorities is available here.