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    COVID-19 HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY RECOVERY PROGRAM (CHIRP)

    2/24/2021
    Senator Joe Pittman was the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 109, which unanimously passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives, and on February 5, 2021 became Act 1 of 2021. As part of the COVID-19 response, this comprehensive legislation provided for nontaxability of certain income; emergency education relief to public and nonpublic schools; assistance to people struggling to pay their rent and utility bills; and established the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP), directing $145 million of funding to help businesses such as restaurants, bars and hotels, which have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Act 1 of 2021 will provide funding directly to counties that will in turn establish grant programs to eligible businesses in the hospitality industry with Indiana County receiving approximately $952,241 to distribute to county businesses with a North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code beginning with 721 (Accommodations) or 722 (Food Services and Drinking Places).  Grants will be awarded to eligible applicants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 for the purpose of alleviating revenue losses and paying eligible operating expenses during the grant period.

    The Indiana County Commissioners, working with its affiliates in the Indiana County Center for Economic Operations, will provide information by early March on how businesses can apply for these grants. Any eligible business in the hospitality industry can email their contact information to and a reply email containing detailed instructions on how to apply for the CHIRP grant program will be sent in return. The CHIRP grant funds must be distributed by July 15, 2021.

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