Wolf Administration Announces Nearly $4 Million in Funding to Communities Struggling Amidst COVID-19

Harrisburg, PA — Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced more than $3.7 million in Community Development Block Grant-CARES Act (CDBG-CV) funding to help communities address challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More than ever before, Pennsylvania’s communities are facing incredible challenges as they work to protect their residents and businesses from the devastating impacts of COVID-19,” said Sec. Davin. “The four projects receiving funding today will create new opportunities for their municipalities by providing critical funding, access to sought-after resources, and safe spaces for community use as we continue to mitigate this global pandemic.”

The following projects were included in the most recent block of CDBG-CV funding approvals:

  • $612,500 to Greene County to create the Forgivable Advance for Small Business Assistance (FASBA) program, a forgivable grant/loan program provided directly to Greene County businesses that can demonstrate job retention or creation for low to middle income workers. In the county, 1,327 businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. Since April, 45 businesses have announced plans to permanently lay off employees and close.
  • Nearly $1.3 million to Mifflin County to procure laptops for special education and low to middle income students to continue their education remotely due to the shutdown of schools. In collaboration with the grantee, the Association of Mifflin County Educators (AMCE) will help the county establish a lending library to manage the laptops.
  • $300,000 to Union County to install a bathroom at Hufnagle Park. The park contains a playground and a gazebo used for community events, however there is currently no public restroom in the park. There has been a considerable increase in community use throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals seek outdoor recreation.
  • More than $1.5 million to Fayette County to install/expand broadband coverage to an area in the western half of the county. Much of the county’s workforce and students have struggled to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the lack of availability of quality high-speed internet. In some areas where internet is available, the service speeds are often inadequate, and the rates are very high. The Fayette County Broadband Initiative will extend high-speed broadband lines to create hotspots in order to provide free broadband access in low to moderate income communities throughout the service area. Each location will extend service within a 1,000-linear-foot radius.

CDBG-CV funds made available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) enable communities to effectively prepare for, prevent the spread of, and respond to the impacts of coronavirus in their communities. DCED will release a second request for proposals to fund coronavirus response activities through CDBG-CV in the new year.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov

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