Commissioners announce YoCo STRONG Restart Fund for small businesses, nonprofits

The York County Commissioners voted July 29 to allocate a portion of the $40.5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support a small business and nonprofit organization grant program. The YoCo Strong Restart Fund will be administered by the York County Economic Alliance and Community First Fund.

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Applications for the YoCo STRONG Restart Fund will open the week of Aug. 24 and remain open for 10 days.

Utilizing the YoCo Strong Recovery Task Force report as guidance, the County will dedicate $10 million for small business support, and $4 million for nonprofit support. Grant amounts will range from $10,000 to $35,000 for eligible organizations negatively impacted by the COVID‐19 pandemic that meet these criteria:

• Small businesses with gross revenues for the 12‐month period of $3 million or less and with fewer than 50 full‐time equivalent employees (FTEs).
• Restaurants with fewer than 75 full‐time equivalent employees (FTEs), no capped annual revenue.
• Nonprofit organizations with revenues for the 12‐month period of $3 million or less and with fewer than 75 full‐time equivalent employees (FTEs).

To deploy these funds in an expedited manner and meet the compliance and time guidelines set forth by the federal government, County government and the York County Economic Alliance, in partnership with Community First Fund, will administer an application process for this funding.

“The YCEA and Community First are dedicated to educating and assisting businesses and nonprofits all
across York County,” stated President Commissioner Julie Wheeler. “When you call or email, you’ll reach a team member right here in our community who can answer questions, offer application guidance, and help support you through the process."

As was recommended by the Recovery Task Force, to ensure funding is directed to those most in need, funding will be prioritized to those who did not receive other additional government support, such as through the federal PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) program and minority owned and low to moderate income businesses, as well as small non‐profit organizations. Eligibility information can be obtained on the site.

“We know small businesses and nonprofit organizations across York County have been hardest hit by the pandemic,” added Wheeler. “Over 70% of small businesses in York County did not access funds available through the PPP or other government funding. Through the YoCo Strong Recovery Task Force, we were able to determine the needs for funding, and used that to guide our allocations.”

Key details:

 The program is not administered on a “first come, first served” basis. The online application portal will be open for 10 days and administered by an impartial third‐party.
 Applications and assistance are available in English and Spanish.
 The YCEA is available to answer any questions and inquiries via email at or by calling 717‐848‐4000. The YCEA will provide socially‐distanced, in‐person application guidance countywide. Details will be available on
 Once applications are received, the third‐party vendor will score each application and perform all necessary underwriting, background and information checks and fraud protection.

Full details on eligibility, ineligibility, application, and support, are outlined on For additional information visit

About the YCEA and Community First Fund:
The York County Economic Alliance drives York County’s economic growth by leveraging the collaboration, resources, and expertise needed to create sustainable prosperity. As the best of an Economic Development Corporation, the best of a Chamber of Commerce, and now the best of a Main Street Organization, the YCEA drives widespread and shared prosperity for all through a stronger YoCo.

With a “let’s make it happen” attitude, YCEA employs driven and trusted people and processes to support business growth. It combines proven methodology for education, workforce preparedness, real estate development, and financing while engaging a highly creative staff and an entrepreneurial network of experts to “make it happen.”

The YCEA exists to provide administrative support for grant programming. It has done so with grant programs such as the Commonwealth Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), it serves as a conduit for Commonwealth loan programs such as the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority Loan Program (PIDA), Next Generation Farmer loans, and federal Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programming. As a certified economic development organization, it is reviewed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it must follow and adhere with all guidelines and compliance obligations set forth by federal and state law.

As a US Treasury certified CDFI, Community First Fund is a nonprofit, mission‐based financial institution that provides affordable loans, development services, and investments to businesses that cannot access financing through traditional financing channels. We typically focus on offering loans to entrepreneurs that contribute to increasing economic opportunities for low‐income, low‐wealth, and other disadvantaged communities across York County.

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