Two weeks ago, PEDA issued a call to action regarding Senate Bill 109, which had passed the Senate and was heading to the House for consideration. Recognizing the legislative process is always subject to last minute changes, PEDA continued to work closely with our legislative contacts and many of our members throughout the last week to ensure the final legislation would reflect PEDA’s efforts to produce positive results. Thank you to all our members and partners who supported this important legislation and whose ongoing advocacy efforts will allow us to build on this success with the recognition that the role of economic development is a key part of the Commonwealth’s recovery.
On Friday February 8th, Governor Tom Wolf approved SB 109, introduced by Senator Joe Pittman (R-Indiana). SB 109 was the first bill to reach the Governor’s desk in the new 2021/22 Legislative Session and is now Act 1 of 2021. Act 1 is an economic relief package which includes $145 million for the Hospitality Industry Recovery Program through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Funding will be proportionally allocated to each county as a block grant and will be administered by a local certified economic development organization (CEDO) or a community development financial institution (CDFI). The funds shall be made available as grants to eligible applicants from the hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants, bars and taverns. Among other criteria to be met, please note that an eligible applicant must operate a place of business within the Commonwealth having a NAICS designation within the Accommodation subsector (721) or Food Services and Drinking Places subsector (722) and where accommodations, food or drink is served to or provided for the public, with or without charge. Grants may be issued in $5,000 increments and the maximum grant award is limited to $50,000 per applicant. A CEDO or a CDFI may assess an application fee not to exceed $500.
The funding for the program will be provided through a transfer from the Workers' Compensation Security Fund. The transfer is to be treated as a loan to be repaid by July 1, 2029 or within 180 days of the federal government providing flexible stimulus dollars to the Commonwealth. Any unused funds from the program shall be redeposited into the Workers' Compensation Security Fund. Act 1 also excludes forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) to individuals from the state Personal Income Tax.
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