The Bucks Business Recovery Grant application window has closed.

Program Guidelines

Please email bucksrecoverygrant@buckscounty.org or call 215-345-3849 with questions.

Introduction

The County of Bucks (the “County”) has been appropriated funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA Funds”) to assist small businesses through COVID-19 recovery.

The County desires to work with the following entities to enact the Bucks Business Recovery Grant Round 1, an economic support program for Bucks County small businesses and nonprofits (the “Program”):

  • Bucks County Economic Development Corporation
  • Bucks County Industrial Development Authority
  • Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks

The County has allotted up to $5,000,000.00 for the Program.  The above-mentioned entities (collectively, “Program Administrators”) will work with the County and each other in a collaborative effort to select small businesses and/or nonprofits to receive grants ranging from $1,000.00 – $45,000.00. The Program Administrators may recommend awarding grants in increments of $1,000.00 not to exceed the Limitation noted above. Businesses falling between the range of increments will be rounded down to the closest 1,000.  Funds for awards will be held with the County Controller until the list of recipients are approved by the Commissioners.

Prior Receipt of Bucks Back to Work Funding

Small businesses and/or nonprofits who have already received Bucks Back to Work grant funding and/or CARES Act funding shall be eligible for this Program. Grants for businesses and non-profits who have received prior funding from Bucks Back to Work will be capped at $5,000.00. Priority will be given to small business and/or nonprofits that have not received additional government relief support funding (e.g., SBA Payroll Protection Program, other SBA Disaster/Emergency Funds, PA COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program, Bucks Back to Work, etc.).

Small Business Guidelines

Eligible small business applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must be a for-profit, Bucks County-based business operating primarily in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with an annual gross revenue of $5,000,000 or less.
    1. Primary operations and headquarters of the business must be physically located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, regardless of owner’s residence or location of business incorporation.
  2. Business owners may only apply for one business in which they own 20% or more of the business.
  3. This Program is open to all industries.
  4. This Program is available to franchises and affiliate businesses.
  5. Businesses that apply must intend to remain open, at minimum, through December 31, 2022.
  6. Applicants must have been in business with the same owner since 2019.
  7. Employees of the County of Bucks and Program Administrators, as well as their board or authority members, are ineligible.
  8. Businesses that have been cited by any government agency for violating municipal, county, state, or federal codes, laws, etc., in the past two years are ineligible.
  9. Passive businesses are not eligible. These include rental properties or any business in which the owner does not actively participate.
  10. Must be current or in compliance, making timely and required payments on any county, state, or federal loan program accounts.
  11. Must have no more than 50 employees. Subcontractors and/or 1099 employees should not be included in the employee count.

Eligible use of grant funds are as follows:[2]

  1. Payroll expenses.
  2. Rent and mortgage for the business.
  3. Operational expenses:
    1. Equipment leases
    2. PPE
    3. Other operational expenses
  4. Capital Expenses related to implementing new safety measures related to COVID-19 including but not limited to:
    1. Physical changes to enable social distancing
    2. Enhanced cleaning efforts
    3. Barriers or partitions
    4. COVID–19 vaccination, testing, or contact tracing programs
    5. Signage to facilitate social distancing
    6. Provision of masks or PPE
    7. Consultation with infection prevention professionals to develop safe reopening measures
  5. Technical assistance, counseling, or other services to assist with business planning needs
  6. Expenses must not have incurred prior to March 3, 2021 [3]

Ineligible use of grant funds are as follows:

  1. To settle debts
  2. Anything outside the scope relating to COVID-mitigation
  3. Satisfaction of any obligation arising from a settle agreement, judgement, consent decree or judicially confirmed debt restructuring [4]
  4. Any expense incurred before March 3, 2021
  5. Any expense not applicable through ARPA
  6. To fund any business other than that which is receiving the grant

Non-Profit Guidelines

Eligible nonprofit applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Eligible applicants must be a 501(c)(3) entity, approved by the Internal Revenue Service, and meet the following criteria:
    1. Meet at least one of the following:
      1. Have at least one physical location where services are provided from in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and where services are available to Bucks County residents/communities;
      2. The organization’s scope of service is comprised of at least 50% Bucks County residents/communities. Scope of service may be the percentage of individuals served and/or the geographic service area of the organization; and/or
      3. The organization’s scope of service includes Bucks County and at least 50% of its current employees are residents of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, as of the date of application.
    2. The organization’s mission falls into at least one of the following categories:
      1. Food, health, and/or housing insecurity services;
      2. Childcare/educational services;
      3. Mental health and wellness services;
      4. Elder and/or vulnerable population services;
      5. Environmental stewardship; and/or
      6. Community, economic, and/or workforce development services.
    3. Have been in operation for a period of time such that the organization filed at minimum a 2019 Form 990 and is still in operation as of the date of the application.
    4. Revenues (Line 12 of Form 990) do not exceed $15,000,000 on the most recently filed Form 990 (2019, or 2020 Form 990 will only be accepted).
    5. Employed and paying no more than 50 full and part-time employees total as of September 1, 2021.
    6. Entity must be acting in accordance with its by-laws, mission, and with all legal requirements as a 501(c)(3) entity.
  2. Must have no more than 50 employees

Additional eligibility criteria and information:

  1. Subcontractors and/or 1099 employees should not be included in the employee count.
  2. Nonprofits that are in active default (not on a payment plan) with taxes or fees owed to local, county, state, and/or the federal government may not apply.
  3. Religious institutions that do not have a program focus of at least 25% of total revenues supporting food security, housing security, childcare, or rapid reemployment services may not apply.
  4. Nonprofits engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state, or local law may not apply.
  5. Organizations that apply must intend to remain open, at minimum, through December 31, 2022.
  6. Employees of the County of Bucks and Program Administrators, as well as their board or authority members, are ineligible.
  7. Must be up to date on any county, state, or federal loan program accounts.

Eligible use of grant funds are as follows: [5]

    1. Payroll expenses.
    2. Rent and mortgage for the business.
    3. Operational expenses:
      1. Equipment leases
      2. PPE
      3. Other operational expenses
    4. Capital Expenses related to implementing new safety measures related to COVID-19 including but not limited to:
      1. Physical changes to enable social distancing
      2. Enhanced cleaning efforts
      3. Barriers or partitions
      4. COVID–19 vaccination, testing, or contact tracing programs
      5. Signage to facilitate social distancing
      6. Provision of masks or PPE
      7. Consultation with infection prevention professionals to develop safe reopening measures
    5. Technical assistance, counseling, or other services to assist with business planning needs
    6. Expenses must not have incurred prior to March 3, 2021 [6]

Grant awards cannot be used for the following costs:

  1. To finance an organization, project, activity, and/or location primarily located outside of the geographic boundaries of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
  2. The repayment of any debts to private creditors or lenders other than those assumed due to COVID-19 (e.g., bank loans or lines of credit).
  3. Any political and/or lobbying activity.
  4. To settle debts.
  5. Anything outside the scope relating to COVID-mitigation
  6. Satisfaction of any obligation arising from a settle agreement, judgement, consent decree or judicially confirmed debt restructuring [7]
  7. Any expense incurred before March 3, 2021
  8. Any expense not applicable through ARPA

Grant Awards, Application, and Selection

Small business and nonprofit applicants meeting all the eligibility criteria may apply for a grant.  Applying is not a guarantee of funding.  Selection of applicants for grant receipt shall be based upon the recommendations of the Program Administrators.

Application Process

  1. To apply, eligible small business and nonprofits will be required to complete an online application hosted by the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks.
  2. All required information (see below) must be submitted digitally in PDF format.
  3. The application window will be as follows: Opens at 8:00 AM EDT on October 29, 2021 and will close at 5:00 PM EST on November 19, 2021.
  4. Incomplete, incorrect, or late applications will not be considered.
  5. All questions must be answered via the application; DO NOT attach additional explanatory sheets.
  6. There is no application fee.
  7. Applications are not first come first serve.
  8. Due to anticipated demand, not all applications will be funded.
  9. Applications will be reviewed by the Program Administrators.

Required Applicant Information

Applicants will be requested to provide the following attachments:

  1. 2020 Tax Returns for business -or- Form 990 for non-profits
  2. Form W-9
  3. Executed Agreement
  4. 2021 P&L

Applicants will be requested to provide the following information:

  1. Self Identification
    1. Is the owner a member of an underserved population?
    2. Does the business service an underserved population?
  2. Identify basic organization information
    1. Owner name
    2. Location
    3. Date of opening
  3. Requested Grant amount
  4. Previous awards and amounts
  5. Eligibility Confirmation
    1. Staffing
    2. Physical location
    3. Revenue Cap
    4. Attestation to remain open
    5. Demonstrated need

Award of Grant and Grant Application

Completed applications will be reviewed by the Program Administrators, and considerations for grant awards will be based on satisfaction of eligibility criteria and demonstrated need in grant application.  Overall evaluation of need and grant award decision criteria will include:

  • Complete and accurate application by eligible applicant;
  • Identification of demonstrable need due to COVID-19 disruptions and the recovery process to come;

Applicants awarded grant funding will be required to sign a grant contract and documentation provided as part of the award and disbursement process.  Upon execution of the grant contract and it being returned to the County, efforts will be made to disburse funds within approximately 15 business days via check.  Grant contracting and fund disbursement shall be done by the County.

At least one individual in the leadership of the grant recipient’s organization will be required to sign the grant contract at the time of contract execution requiring that grant funds will be used as stipulated by the program guidelines and grant contract.  Further, the contract will acknowledge that any unused funds will be returned and that any use of funds that violates the grant contract may result in prosecution.

Grant recipients will be required to report on the use of the funds as stipulated in the grant contract.  Grant reporting for this program is due no later than April 29, 2022.  The County will provide a spreadsheet for grant recipients to use as a template to report spending of grant funds.  The total of the grant award must be used by MARCH 31, 2022. Grant funds used for ineligible costs must be reimbursed to the County by the grant recipient.

*Application window will open at 8:00 AM EDT on Friday, October 29th, 2021 & will close at 5:00 PM EDT on Friday, November 19, 2021.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt