Allegheny County awards $15 million in grants to hospitality industry

PITTSBURGH — County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced Monday that the county has awarded more than $15 million in COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program funding to 642 businesses in Allegheny County. The grants, averaging $22,477, were awarded to businesses in the hospitality industry that were affected by the pandemic.

“We know that the hospitality industry was the part of our economy that was hardest hit by the pandemic and is also the portion of our economy that may also take the longest time to recover,” said Fitzgerald. “Thanks to the state CHIRP program, over 600 businesses in this county have received financial support to help them continue to stay in business. For many of these small businesses, it may make all of the difference to their continued operations.”

Allegheny County contracted with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation (SPC), a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO), to process applications. On its first day, it received 310 applications. In total, it received 762 applications, with 120 applicants determined to be ineligible. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $25,000.

After reviewing applications and consulting with the Budget and Finance and the County Manager’s office, the county committed an additional $1,496,630 of CARES funding to the program, resulting in payments of $15,270,000 distributed to county applicants. To date, 85% of all funds have been distributed to awardees with the remaining payments occurring in the next week to 10 days.

Eligible businesses included those located in Allegheny County that are in the hospitality industry, experienced a loss due to COVID, had fewer than 300 full-time employees and do not intend to permanently cease operations.

A complete listing of awardees that received funding, and the amounts, will be posted on the Economic Development website at once all payments are distributed.