BUCKS COUNTY >> Grants totaling $150,000 to area non-profits announced as Redevelopment Authority continues effort to support Bucks County businesses, non-profits and municipalities to address short and long-term impacts of COVID-19.
Following the regular meeting of the Redevelopment Authority on May 15th, the Board of Directors announced $150,000 in grant awards to 22 non-profit organizations in Bucks County.
Funds under the COVID-19 Emergency Non-profit Relief Program (ENRP) will be used to support organizations providing vital services to combat the negative effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
ENRP is a collaborative effort between the County Commissioners and the Redevelopment Authority, funded through the gross terminal revenue generated from Parx Casino in Bensalem Township and administered by the Redevelopment Authority under Pennsylvania Gaming legislation introduced by Senator Tommy Tomlinson.
The ENRP is just one of several programs and initiatives advanced by the Redevelopment Authority since Governor Wolf’s Closure Order of March 19, 2020. The first program, the COVID-19 Emergency Economic Rapid Responses Loan Program, was launched on March 25 and targeted businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. The loan program has assisted 75 small businesses.
Coinciding with the launch of the emergency loan program, the Redevelopment Authority took action to provide other forms of relief through its existing programs. This included pausing all payments for businesses with a loan through the Redevelopment Authority’s economic development loan fund as well as providing municipalities with existing gaming grants under the Municipal Grant Program the option to modify their projects to address COVID-19.
The Redevelopment Authority also submitted an emergency request to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development on behalf of the County and eight municipalities, including Bensalem Township, Bristol Borough, Bristol Township, Falls Township, Lower Southampton, Morrisville Borough, Penndel Borough and Tullytown Borough.
The request to the state was for the immediate designation of the Bucks County Enterprise Zone Program, a highly successful economic development program first established in Bucks County in 1997.
Jeff Darwak, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority commented, “In less than 60 days, we’ve been able to reach more than 100 businesses, non-profit organizations and municipalities through these initiatives. The Redevelopment Authority stands ready to support communities confronting the evolving challenges of COVID-19 and Governor’s Order that shut down significant portions of our economy. I would like to thank our partners and the many people involved in the tremendous team effort to quickly develop brand new programs, along with the effective and efficient processes for implementation. To date, we have deployed funding totaling $750,000 to support small business and non-profits throughout Bucks County.”
Redevelopment Authority Chairman, Sean Schafer added, “The Redevelopment Authority will continue to look for ways to provide critical resources to the individuals, communities, and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to utilizing our proven track record of maximizing federal, state and local resources to support our communities, especially in the wake of harmful disruptions in these trying times and will use every tool available to us to facilitate the short and long-term recovery effort in Bucks County."
The following COVID-19 Emergency Non-profit Relief Program grants were awarded on May 15 by the Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors:
- Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need, Inc. to assist families and individuals in need to address food security , emergency shelter, rental assistance as well as meals on wheels program $8,000;
- Bristol Township Senior Citizens, Inc. to support for essential service demands, facility operations and build ability to connect with seniors through online and virtual means, $9,000.
- Bucks County Housing Group to meet demand at Penndel Community Food Pantry, $8,000.
- Bucks County Opportunity Council, Inc. to fund two areas: food and emergency services, supplement other food acquisition efforts when needed. $8,000.
- Destined for a Dream Educational reinforcement programs for disadvantaged youth in Lower Bucks County, $3,000.
- ERA of Lower Bucks County Purchase for additional food to distribute to food insecure families in Lower Bucks County, $5,000.
- Family Service Association of Bucks County for various programs to insure a wide impact on the communities in the Parx Casino target area, to its customers, and to its employ ees including hardware acquisition for telehealth, fulfillment of services and nursing services at the emergency shelter, $8,000.
- HealthLink Dental Clinic, Inc. to support facility reopening for free primary dental care for low-income, working adults and military veterans, $5,000.
- Joseph A. Schumacher VFW Post 1597 to supplement food acquisition efforts and stabilize families who are suffering from housing or other emergencies related to loss of income, $5,000.
- Livengrin Foundation Bridge for funding based on stay at home order and increased layoffs for patients that have no insurance or limited insurance to access treatment, $9,000.
- Middletown Community Foundation for programs to support needs of families with children, $8,000.
- Middletown Senior Citizens Association to ensure delivery of meals for seniors, cleaning supplies, PPE, and digital thermometers to keep seniors safe and healthy,
- NAMI Bucks County to update technology to offer online support groups for people with mental health issues, and their families, $7,000.
- The Christmas Gala Funds to help elderly address various needs such as minor bill support, transportation to doctors appointments, minor home repairs, other every day needs, $5,000.
- The Monroe Foundation for Youth Programs for at risk youth and youth diagnosed with autism, $2,000.
- The Pennsbury Society for virtual outreach offerings, including virtual tours and teaching aides to help students and teachers working virtually to still connect to Pennsbury and alternative related to Brews and Bites which works with a number of small business that rely on program for revenue, $7,000.
- The Salvation Army for COVID-19 Relief Project for essential items including non-perishable bulk food, help with rent/utilities and continue to provide ready - made meals from Monday to Thursday to those most affected by this crisis, $9,000.
- United Way of Bucks County, funding to support the recently opened HELP Center in Bristol Borough, $8,000.
- Vita Education Services, Inc. to deliver online instruction and provide individual academic help and referrals to social services to current students, $7,000.
- Washington Crossing Council, BSA to support virtual programming and for other programs for advancement and to maintain continuity of programming, $7,000.
- YMCA of Bucks County for a variety of programs to offset the impacts of the pandemic including homeless shower events, educational and food packages for families, delivery of homecooked meals to seniors, and food and financial resources program, $9,000.
- YWCA of Bucks County Support for Family Center facility , programs and supportive services to women and their children, $4,000.