NORRISTOWN, PA – The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners announced today that a total of $6M has been awarded from the MontcoStrong 2021 Restaurant Grant Program to 600 restaurants and food service businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Recognizing the importance of the restaurant and food service industry as a cornerstone of Montgomery County’s economic and workforce development as well as central to the growth of entrepreneurship, job opportunities, and its communities, the Montgomery County Commissioners made available up to $6 million in County economic development funds to support restaurants and other food service businesses.
“Small businesses, especially restaurants help define our communities. When they suffer, our communities also suffer," said Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr., Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “The limitations on indoor dining and the loss of outdoor dining in winter months have been brutal on many restaurants. I'm glad to hear that these grants are making a difference in the lives of these business owners.”
The $6 million is in addition to the nearly $20M awarded by the Commissioners in 2020 to help small businesses and nonprofits struggling financially due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Applications went live on December 30, 2020, and closed on January 8, 2021. Each eligible awardee received $10,000.
“For every one of our partners and our communities who continue to help us reach businesses with each new grant program the County is able to provide, thank you,” said David Zellers, Director of Montgomery County’s Commerce Department. “We can't do this alone. It takes all of us to support the small business community in Montgomery County. This grant program, like all of our grant programs to-date, is just one part of what we can all do to support small businesses and their workers. Let's all stay vigilant, shop local, and mask up so we can get to better days ahead.”
A full list of awardees can be found on the Commerce Department's website. Below is a summary of demographic data on the recipients:
- 56 municipalities were represented
- 33 % of applicants identified as minority-owned
- 33 % of applicants identified as female-owned
- 4 % of applicants identified as veteran-owned
- 31 % of applicants indicated they received a MontcoStrong grant in 2020.
- 66 % of applicants indicated they received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2020.
"We are so appreciative to have received this grant for our business," said Ryan Rosen co-owner at Leslie Rosen Catering. "We never thought we would see [more than a year] in our industry and business. I cannot tell you how much this grant means to us."
"When I received the email, I was working on some brewery paperwork at my desk at home. I jumped out of my seat," said Kelly Weiss owner of Perkiomen Valley Brewery. " The grant funding will be very helpful in carrying us through these difficult winter months. We are grateful for being selected as one of the MontcoStrong 2021 grant recipients."
Eligible applicants must have been a for-profit restaurant, food truck, deli, bakery, brewery, distillery, vineyard, caterer, or other food services for-profit entity with a physical location in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania that has been in operation since at least January 1, 2020, and has experienced disruption due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Eligible grant expenses included rent or mortgage payments for a business location, payments for utilities for a business location, purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and payroll for non-owner employees and or their family members between the dates of January 1 and March 5, 2021.
This program was a jointly administered initiative of the Montgomery County Commerce Department and the Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County.
The Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County is disbursing funds to grant awardees upon the return of signed grant agreements.
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