County grants total of $5M to 248 small businesses

WEST CHESTER — Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline announced today the award of $5 million in grants to 248 Chester County small businesses and agricultural enterprises.  The individual grants, made available through the Chester County Main Street Preservation program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, range from just under $1,500 to $25,000.

The Chester County Main Street Preservation grant program was created at the request of the Chester County Commissioners last month to provide funding for small businesses and agricultural enterprises impacted by COVID-19.

“Preservation of Chester County’s main street businesses and our agricultural enterprises are a crucial part of our economic recovery and we are doing everything that we can to help them survive COVID-19, Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said. “Even though restrictions have lifted somewhat in the yellow phase, many businesses still need support, not only in moving forward, but also in helping with the losses they have experienced over the past three months.”

The Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) administered the Main Street Preservation grant program on behalf of Chester County with support from County government departments.  The program invited for-profit small businesses and agricultural enterprises formed and active in 2019 or earlier, with revenues of $500,000 or less to apply.  The other requirement was that the businesses must be physically located and headquartered in Chester County.

“Access to funding has been crucial for small businesses that have lost so much because of COVID-19,” Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell said. “There were many businesses that could not take advantage of federal and commonwealth existing COVID-19 support programs. Knowing this, we quickly put together this Main Street program because we had the financial wherewithal to support it, and because it is a smart investment in our local economy.”

The Chester County Main Street Preservation grant program received 674 applications from small businesses and agricultural enterprises, and from those applications, the 248 grants were awarded.  The businesses receiving the grants are located throughout all of Chester County.

Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline commented, “The funding requests we received for Main Street Preservation grants exceeded the $5 million that we made available, which confirms the need for even more support for our main street businesses,” Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline said. “We will continue to monitor and promote all opportunities for business relief programs available from the federal and commonwealth levels, and we will review our own County resources – financial and practical – in order to continue to help Chester County’s small businesses.”

Mike Grigalonis, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of the Chester County Economic Development Council said, “We were pleased to partner with the Commissioners in delivering this program to our small businesses.  There is still much work to be done but this was certainly an important step in the economic recovery process.”

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