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YCEA to Administer YoCo Strong Restart Fund for Small Business & Nonprofits

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July 31, 2020
Yesterday, the York County Commissioners voted to allocate a portion of the $40.5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support small businesses and nonprofit organizations through the creation of the YoCo Strong Restart Grant program.
To deploy these funds in an expedited manner to meet the guidelines set forth by the federal government, the York County Economic Alliance, in partnership with Community First Fund, will administer an application process for this funding. Ultimately, the authority for County CARES Act funding rests with the County government and its commissioners.
Community First Fund has assisted with similar programs in Lancaster, and Berks Counties, and recently administered a source of state funding for all counties in their regional footprint, including York.  As a US Treasury certified CDFI, Community First Fund is a nonprofit, mission-based financial institution that provides affordable loans, development services, and investments to businesses that cannot access financing through traditional financing channels. They typically focus on offering loans to entrepreneurs that contribute to increasing economic opportunities for low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities across York County. 
“There are over 10,000 businesses across York County who could qualify for this funding program,” said Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of the YCEA. “Through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and now recovery, the YCEA has dedicated our team to supporting and assisting the business and nonprofit community. We know the small businesses and nonprofits have been hardest hit, and our team stands ready to assist in this opportunity to provide much needed capital.”
The application portal will open the week of August 24, and remain open for 10 days. The program is not “first come, first served” basis. Applications will be submitted and scored through an online application portal, and administered by an impartial third-party. That same vendor will do all necessary underwriting, background checks, and fraud protection as well. Grants amounts ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 are available to small businesses and nonprofits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related statewide business closure.
Funding will be prioritized to those most vulnerable businesses and organizations, businesses owned by persons of color or low to moderate income individuals, and to those who were unable to secure other funding support, such as through the SBA PPP program. Nonprofit organizations specializing in childcare, food security, housing stability, and rapid re-employment services will be prioritized as well.
“Ensuring funds reach those who are most vulnerable, in more need, or have been disproportionately negatively impacted is paramount. Through our partnership with Community First Fund, our team, and a robust community outreach and assistance plan, we believe we can do just that,” said Schreiber.
The YCEA team will provide application guidance, in both English and Spanish, and help businesses prepare for the application opening. The YCEA has extensive experience with programs such as the Commonwealth Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), or Commonwealth loan programs such as the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority Loan Program (PIDA), Next Generation Farmer loans, and federal Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programming. As a certified economic development organization, it is well prepared for opportunities such as these.
“The YCEA is ready and welcomes the opportunity to help our county wide community,” added William T. Yanavitch II, Chair of the Board of Directors for YCEA. “The team has the talent, expertise and knowledge to assist our small businesses and nonprofits at a time when they need it the most. We appreciate the confidence of the Board of Commissioners for entrusting YCEA with this responsibility.”
Visit YoCoStrong.org to sign up to receive timely updates for the application deadline, review criteria and eligibility, and read FAQs. The YCEA team is available at 717-718-7845 or via email at info@YoCoStrong.org

About the YCEA
YCEA drives York County’s economic growth by leveraging the collaboration, resources and expertise needed to create sustainable prosperity.

Katie Mahoney
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

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