County Extends Business Grants

Lackawanna County has extended a popular grant program for small-business expansions. Commissioners Bill Gaughan. Matt McGloin and Chris Chermak unanimously passed Combat Inflation Business Grant Phase II at the Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The initiative was presented by Kristin Magnotta, director of planning and economic development. She said it represents the county’s continued efforts to strengthen local businesses by providing financial support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 has caused widespread social and economic disruption, leaving businesses to contend with supply chain issues, worker shortages, and record-breaking inflation, which decreases consumer purchasing power and limits the operating capacity of many local businesses.  

The program offers monetary relief to businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic upheaval. The funds may be applied flexibly and at the businesses’ discretion to support all aspects of operation, including business expansion, payroll and benefits distribution, and internal restructuring to better adjust to the inflationary market.  

Applications are available on the Department of Planning and Economic Development page of the county website, www.lackawannacounty.org. The criteria assess the business’s employment capacity, hardship under COVID-19 restrictions and the aftermath, and plans for the funds. Businesses must have between one and 100 employees, comply with all state and federal laws, and deploy the entirety of their received funds within Lackawanna County. Businesses also may not apply if they have received monetary support during Combat Inflation Business Grant Phase I. Application period is from May 31, 2024 through July 31, 2024.

Magnotta said the administration hopes that the grants make a significant impact on the operating ability of local business, providing greater rates of employment and economic stability to residents and employees of Lackawanna County. 

More than 200 business applied during the first phase of the program. Magnotta said the county has $500,000 available for the second round, enough for 100 grants.