City of Erie officials have announced more than $7 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding will soon be available for downtown business owners.

Next week, business owners, entrepreneurs and community groups can apply for funding from the Department of Economic and Community Development to help those adversely impacted by COVID-19. 

The mayor announced some of the guidelines for Erie business owners and community organizers to receive the funds.

Eligible Businesses must:

  • Be located in the City of Erie
  • Have no more than 500 employees
  • Prove they lost income due to COVID-19 or that they serve those who were negatively impacted
  • Be current on all state, local, and federal taxes
  • Not owe any fees, liens, fines, or funds to the city

“We need very accurate applications as part of this process, because there are specific rules for how this money is allowed to be used. And we have to know that it’s going to be used according to those rules before we release any of it. If we don’t then we might have to repay it down the road, which we don’t want to get in that position at all. We’ve got a lot of money, about $78 million total,” said Mayor Joe Schember, D, City of Erie.

There will be 7 funding opportunities launching next week.  They include:

  • $1 million for Technical Assistance Program Funds
  • $1 million for Small Business Diversity Loan Program
  • $1 million for Flagship ARP Micro-grant Program
  • $500,000 for Restaurant/Entertainment Venue Relief
  • $2.15 million for Community Development Projects
  • $2 million for Refi/Restructure of COVID-19 Debt
  • $2 million for Residential Construction projects of 5+ units 

Funds must be used to cover costs incurred between March 3, 2021 and December 31, 2024, and all awarded funds must be spent by December 31, 2026. 

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The mayor says he wants every dollar spent to have a positive impact on members of the downtown community.

Click here for more information on ARP funding in Erie County.