Does my business qualify for the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program?

Restaurants and bars in Pennsylvania have just celebrated a most unwelcome anniversary – one year has passed since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shut down the entire industry, and then proceeded over the course of the year to impose mandates as to how and when restaurants could operate. Bars suffered an even worse year, and the little bar on the corner where everyone knew your name overnight became the place where nobody came. In past blogs, we have offered information to help restaurant and bar owners survive, if not thrive, during the pandemic. We are pleased to let you know that financial assistance is now available in your own backyard through the new COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP).

The COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP)

The hospitality industry, including bars and restaurants, can now immediately apply for financial relief through CHIRP. While CHIRP IS a state funded program, it is being administered at the county level. CHIRP is providing a total of $145 million dollars in relief in specific amounts for each of all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Grants are in turn being awarded by the counties in $5,000 increments, with a maximum of $50,000 based on certain criteria, including number of full-time employees.

Each county is administering the grant funding through a designated Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO) or Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Each CDFI or CEDO started to accept applications on March 15, 2021.

Does my business qualify?

A business is eligible if:

  • it has an North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) designation with the Accommodation subsector (721) or Food Services and Drinking Places subsector (722) and where accommodations, food or drink is served to or provided for the public, with or without charge;
  • has less than 300 full-time equivalent employees;
  • has a maximum tangible net worth of not more than $15 million;
  • was in operation on February 15, 2020, remains in operation and does not intend to permanently cease operations within one year of the date of application;
  • has experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 25% in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020;
  • and has suffered an adverse economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority in awarding grants is being given to businesses that:

  • have not received a loan or grant issued under the authority of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth’s political subdivisions, or by the federal government;
  • were subject to closure by the Governor’s disaster declaration;
  • or can demonstrate a reduction in revenue in gross receipts of 50% between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

Applying for a CHIRP grant

We encourage you to apply for COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program relief as soon as possible. It is expected individual counties and CHIRP itself will run out of funding well before the April 2, 2021 deadline to apply for first round grants. The attorneys at Gross McGinley, LLP remain on your side and ready to help.




Attorneys Jacob D. Oldaker, Thomas E. Reilly, Jr. and Jason A. Ulrich practice in Gross McGinley’s Business Services Group, providing legal counsel to local, regional and national businesses.