COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program

COVID relief grant for hospitality businesses opens March 15

CHIRP Overview (PDF)

A new COVID relief grant for eligible hospitality industry businesses opens for applications March 15, 2021. 

The county has contracted with SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) to manage their $1.8 million grant program on their behalf. SEDA-COG will receive the applications and determine eligibility and grant amounts in partnership with Harry Mathias, a contractor with SEDA-COG who also served as a former math teacher and Central Columbia Schools superintendent. SEDA-COG also will disburse the funds to awarded businesses. 

Eligible hospitality industry businesses include hotels, restaurants, bars, and taverns. These businesses must fall within eligible industry codes which include the Accommodations subsector (721) or Food Services and Drinking Places subsector (722). Please refer to the NAISCS code list.

The Centre County Commissioners are urging businesses to apply as soon as possible for the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) grants since funds may be quickly exhausted.  

Applicants can find eligibility information at the Community Giving Foundation’s website: beginning on Monday, March 15. Properly completed applications will be awarded on a rolling basis. Incomplete applications will not be considered until such time as the application is correct and complete.

Applicants are encouraged to review the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program Guidelines prior to submitting an application.

Businesses can apply at the Community Giving Foundation’s website at from March 15, 2021 until the funds are exhausted or June 15, 2021. 

Grants will range from $5,000 to $50,000 and the funds will alleviate revenue losses and pay eligible operating expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following criteria must be met for a hospitality business to be eligible for consideration:

  • It has fewer than 300 full-time equivalent employees.
  • It was in operation on Feb. 15, 2020, remains in operation and does not intend to permanently cease operations within one year of the date of application.
  • COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact on the eligible applicant which makes the grant necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant.
  • It can demonstrate a minimum 25% decline in quarterly revenue when comparing quarterly revenue between 2019 to 2020.

Priority will be given to businesses that:

  • Did not already receive COVID relief funds
  • Were subject to closure following the disaster emergency declared by Gov. Tom Wolf on March 6, 2020; 


  • Had more than a 50% reduction in gross receipts from March 31, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019.
  • For a full listing of eligibility requirements and prioritization guidelines, visit

The grant program was created from Act 1 of 2021, which was passed Feb. 5. Statewide, it provides $145 million in funding assistance to the hospitality industry businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). 

For more information, contact SEDA-COG Grants Manager Betsy Lockwood at 570-522-7265 or