Cover image: the team at Bunyaad Rugs, fair trade handmade rug store in Lititz
As part of the Recovery Lancaster initiative, a Small Business Recovery & Sustainability Fund was created using the CARES Act money given to Lancaster County.
The Small Business Recovery & Sustainability Fund deployed dollars into the community over three phases. Eligible businesses used the funds for working capital and to cover expenses related to public health retrofit improvements.
The goal of the three phases of funding was to ensure companies from diverse industries across all of Lancaster County had access to the application. Special attention was given to ensure resources – such as paper applications, information translated into Spanish and call-in assistance – was available for companies who needed extra help to get an accurate application submitted.
“We are sincerely grateful for your support and faith in the small businesses of Lancaster,” said Damian Cavalo, Owner of Caribbean Wave Jamaican Jerk Restaurant. “When we started our restaurant, our main goal was to bring love and good food to the people of Lancaster. This grant will further our commitment to the people of Lancaster and allow us to continue our original mission. I can’t completely express how grateful I am for this help.”
It was impactful for many businesses to sustain operation during this difficult time.
“This pandemic sent a tsunami-like crash on our linen business,” said Claudia Himes, Owner of Special Occasions & Queen Street Linens. “We built a decent lifeboat to weather a year at thirty-five percent of our original projections. The Recovery Lancaster grants shored up our boat and gave us oars. We can see April from here.”
The Funds By The Numbers:
- 1,587 grant awards were provided to Lancaster County businesses for a total of $40,963,759.69.
- The grant awardees reported 26,707 employees.
- ”Other” was the largest category awarded grants, but the top three industry-specific categories awarded grants were Accommodation/Hospitality/Restaurant, Retail, and Healthcare.
- 34.2% of the grants were awarded to woman-owned businesses through this program.
- 20.5% of the grants were awarded to diverse-owned businesses who identified as African American, Asian American, Hispanic or Other.
It was a herculean feat to create the applications, the criteria, and more, to ensure many business in the County were able to continue forward.
In addition to funding, the Recovery Lancaster program mass-distributed PPE kits, monitored health trends, and more. Read the extensive recap here.