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COVID-19 Columbia County Relief Block Grant (Small Business/Tourism Grant Program) Opens July 17

It is the intent of the the Columbia County Commissioner’s Small Business/Tourism Grant to provide qualifying businesses a grant to help with costs such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and lost inventory.  This COVID-19 Columbia County Relief Block Grant (Small Business/Tourism Program) will utilize the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation’s web-based grant management system only as a technical assistance resource.  Review and allocation of available monies will be overseen by Harry Mathias. Funds will remain with the County Commissioners until disbursed to small businesses. The application window opens on July 17th.

A statutory clause states that “priority” is to be given to businesses that did not receive a loan or grant through the Federal Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Disaster Loan Program.  Therefore, those business’ fixed cost calculation will be adjusted upward by 5%. 

The County Commissioners have set aside a fund of $3,000,000 for this grant program.  If sufficient funds are not available to fully fund the intended target, all qualifying businesses will receive a pro-rata share of the $3,000,000 set aside amount.  No awarded grant will exceed $100,000.

For purposes of this grant, “fixed cost” is defined as base costs involved in operating the business and will consist of:

  1. Rental lease/mortgage payments
  2. Property and liability insurance costs
  3. Property taxes (if paid by the business)
  4. Utilities to operate the business facility
  5. Lost inventory due to the COVID-19 emergency


Who is eligible?

  • Any for-profit businesses or individuals doing business as businesses with base location in Columbia County, PA.
  • One Owner per business may apply.

Approval Requirements:

  • Must be in business by March 1, 2019 and still in business on July 1, 2020
  • Must intend to stay in business through, at least, July 1, 2021
  • Total employees less than 100 OR an entity primarily engaged in the Tourism industry
  • Business must be based in Columbia County, PA
  • Net Profit in March 1-June 30, 2020 window must be less than Net Profit in March 1- June 30, 2019 window.
  • Must not owe federal, state or local taxes
  • Must not be subject to criminal justice process as per the question in the application

Required Documentation:

  • Most recently filed federal tax return
  • Entity documents including DBA or FBN certificate and proof of ownership
  • Business License (if sole proprietor)
  • Government Issued ID
  • Evidence of fixed costs including: mortgage/rent/lease payments, utility costs, license fees, property tax bills, property and liability insurance bills, attest to any inventory lost


  • July 16: Commissioners approve the amount of funding, grant process and timeline
  • July 17: Grant application window opens.
  • August 10: Grant application window closes
  • August 10-August 18: Team compiles data, determines qualifying businesses, determines 5-month fixed cost calculation or ceiling amount, calculates pro-rata share in applicable
  • August 20: Grant amounts recommended to Commissioners
  • August 21: Letters of approval sent out to qualifying businesses including Grant amount and Grant contract
  • Checks will be issued upon return of grant contracts to the County Commissioners Office.

 Grant applications must be completed and submitted through the Foundation’s grant website. Applicants may access the grant application by visiting  Click on the homepage banner “Columbia County Relief Block Grant (Small Business/Tourism Grant Program)”.  The deadline to apply is Monday, August 10, 11:59 pm, online.  For questions about the online grant application, contact Christine Orlando, CSCF Senior Program Officer,,  570-752-3930, ext. 2.

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