Erie County launches grant applications for two American Rescue Plan programs: New Small Business Startup and Local Shuttered Venue

Saturday Oct 30th, 2021

Erie County, in partnership with the Erie County Redevelopment Authority (ECRDA), announces the launch of grant applications for the American Rescue Plan New Small Business program and the Local Shuttered Venue program. The federal government through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) awarded the County of Erie $52.4 million to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic and to help stimulate the Erie County economy. 

The New Small Business Grant is designed to provide necessary relief to new Erie County small businesses established on or after January 1, 2020, that have been negatively impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper and Erie County Council have designated up to $150,000 of funding to provide grants of $5,000 - $10,000 to assist in ensuring the survival and stability of these crucial businesses. Dahlkemper and county council have determined that these grants are necessary to respond to the public health emergency by providing economic support to businesses harmed by the effects of COVID-19. The New Small Business Grant will be administered by the Erie County Redevelopment Authority (ECRDA).

The following criteria must be met to be eligible for a New Small Business Grant:

• The applicant business is a for-profit entity (corporation, LLC, partnership, joint venture, sole proprietor with W2 employees).
• The applicant business started operations at a physical location in Erie County between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, and has the ability to continue operations as a going concern, taking into account a potential program grant.
• The applicant business is an employer firm with at least 2 but no more than 25 Erie County employees paid via W2 wages as of January 1, 2021, determined either by a headcount or full-time equivalent employee calculation.
• The applicant business has at least one physical location in Erie County.
• The applicant business has experienced revenue loss or incurred unplanned costs substantially caused by COVID-19 and a grant is necessary to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19.
• The applicant business must be current on all local, state and federal taxes.

The Local Shuttered Venue Grant is designed to offset the loss incurred by recreational, event, tourism and related industries that were not eligible for other COVID-19 relief programs. County Executive Dahlkemper and Erie County Council have allocated $1,474,991 to award to eligible entities. Grants will be awarded up to $75,000.

The following criteria must be met for Local Shuttered Venue grant consideration:

• Must be an Erie County, Pennsylvania location
• Business must be in current operation
• Must have 2019 and 2020 business financials
• Must fall into one of the eligible NAICS (list located at
• Applicants who have received the SBA Shuttered Venue Grant are NOT eligible
• Erie County LEAD Assets are NOT eligible (as defined by the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority)

Applicants can find eligibility information, as well as the online application, at Applications will be accepted beginning November 1. Properly completed applications will be awarded on a rolling basis. Incomplete applications will not be considered until such time as the application is correct and complete.

“Erie County continues to lead the way in supporting our small businesses and economy,” County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said. “Working together with County Council has allowed us to take the lead in assisting our struggling businesses and steadily we are rebuilding Erie County to be stronger and more resilient.”

For more information, please visit the ECRDA grants page or email ECRDA

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