Pennsylvania’s secretary of Community and Economic Development visits Erie to see how pandemic recovery funds are being spent

Coronavirus

Pennsylvania’s secretary of Community and Economic Development came to Erie today to see how this area is spending some three million dollars in pandemic recovery funds.

The money is earmarked to kickstart the bar and restaurant businesses here.

These funds are going a long way to help small businesses open back up and in some cases move forward.

The Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, Dennis Davin, joined the county executive and owner of the U Pick 6 Public House, to highlight the state’s financial assistance efforts.

Davin said that the three million dollar grant that was put into at least 125 small businesses in Erie County have helped restaurants with tax and real estate costs since the hospitality industry took a big hit by the pandemic.

The assistance came through the 145 million dollar COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program known as “Chirp.”

“To help pay for utilities and things like that so they can keep open while they have to have reduced occupancy in their facilities. So I think it went really well,” said Dennis Davin, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

These funds have alleviated the challenges to many small businesses.

“Now you’re seeing the confidence coming back with big groups of people coming in, big group of parties, stuff like that. So it definitely has the feel of what it should have as a good pub in my opinion,” said John Melody, Co-Owner of U Pick 6 Public House.

County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said that the biggest issue she is seeing is positions not being filled, but business owners are trying.

“Businesses have used this money to improve things, getting ready to open back up and continue to make people safe. You know this pandemic is not over,” said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.

The secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development said that black and brown owned businesses were also part of receiving the funds.

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