Harrisburg’s small businesses soon may get another dose of financial support, as City Council has approved more money to help sustain them.
Council unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday night that makes changes to the city’s “2019 Action Plan” for federal housing funds, including a $500,000 allocation to provide grants to city-licensed businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money derives from $1.15 million the city is receiving in supplemental Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Already, the city and Impact Harrisburg have distributed about $1.75 million to city businesses impacted by the pandemic under the Neighborhood Business Stabilization Program. However, demand for grants quickly exhausted that pool of money.
Because the new money originates from federal CDBG funds, which has its own rules, this round of funding is considered separate, although Impact Harrisburg still will oversee the application process for small businesses.
The remainder of CARES Act funds under CDBG will be used to provide public services that “prevent, prepare and respond to COVID-19,” as well as for administrative purposes, according to the city.
The city also is receiving $578,217 in CARES Act funding for the Emergency Solutions Grant Program, which is focused on providing emergency housing and preventing homelessness.
The city plans to hold a virtual public meeting on the allocation of CARES Act funds on Thursday at 6 p.m. so that residents can “learn more about the program,” according to Councilman Dave Madsen.
“If people want to apply for it, they’ll need to know more about it,” he said.
The public can join that hearing by phone by calling 301-715-8592 and entering the following information when prompted: Meeting ID: 869 7635 8476, Password: 871913. It also can be viewed youtube.com/whbg20, which is live-streaming the hearing.