Section 5001 of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which became law on March 27, 2020, establishes a Coronavirus Relief Fund. The CARES Act requires that governmental recipients of Coronavirus Relief Fund money use it for expenditures that (1) were necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency; (2) were not accounted for in the governmental budget most recently approved as March 27, 2020; and (3) were incurred, on a cash basis, during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.
Related guidance issued by the United States Department of the Treasury (“U.S. Treasury”) permits funds to be used to provide “grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.” Frequently Asked Questions issued by the U.S. Treasury indicate that such grants may be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures as well as “to benefit small businesses that close voluntarily to promote social distancing measures or that are affected by decreased customer demand as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.” Such effects must relate to the period that began on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.
Pennsylvania Act 24 of 2020 provides that Coronavirus Relief Fund Money distributed through the Commonwealth, which includes the funds received by the County used to fund this Business Interruption Grant program, may be used for small business grant programs to “support businesses with fewer than 100 employees with priority given to those businesses that did not receive a loan or grant through the federal Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program established under the CARES Act.” In addition, such grants are available to businesses and other entities that are primarily engaged in the tourism industry, with 100 or more employees.
Act 24 further provides that CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund money may be used for nonprofit assistance programs for entities that are an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Applicants must be appropriately licensed and operating in the County. Applicants must also operate from a physical location in the County.
The CARES Act funds may cover costs that-
1. Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
2. were not accounted for in the budget your organization most recently approved as of March 27, 2020
3. were incurred during the period that begins March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020
These funds may not be used to fill shortfalls in other revenue to cover expenditure that would not otherwise qualify under the statute.