Erie County Council passed a resolution today to create a $200,000 COVID-19 Response fund. County Council authorized Erie County to contribute $100,000 to the ECGRA administered response fund, which will also draw on $100,000 of ECGRA local share gaming revenue.
The ECGRA Board is expected to pass a $100,000 matching fund in its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.
County Council also authorized $100,000 in additional funding to the County of Erie to meet internal needs related to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Response Fund will include three new grant/loan programs created to help meet rapidly rising needs generated as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. The three emergency programs include: Immediate Human Relief Fund, Civic Institution Deferred Income Loans and Small Business Loan Program.
- Immediate Human Relief fund: a grant fund established to offer immediate relief to the populations served by food pantries, homeless shelters, child care centers and elder care centers. Organizations can apply for grants to through the ECGRA online application system.
- Civic Institution Deferred program: A zero-interest loan fund available to Erie County civic institutions, which are essential to the vitality of the Erie community. Many local institutions operate with a no line of credit or major cash reserve, which will leave them vulnerable to closure as revenue is staunched due to social distancing requirements. Civic institutions that can demonstrate that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to access zero interest loans with deferred repayment plans.
- Small Business Loan Fund: Small businesses that can demonstrate negative financial impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to access zero-interest loans with relaxed short term repayment plans contingent upon developing global economic conditions.
“During this crisis we must ensure that elderly, homeless, working poor, new Americans, children and all Erie County families have access to resources necessary to survive the social distancing necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19. Erie County government’s primary mission is now and should always be human services. This fund is anticipating and serving Erieites at the ground level,” said Andre Horton, Erie City Council Chair District 2.