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COVID-19 relief on the way in Monroe County

The Monroe County commissioners applied for and anticipate getting $1.9 million under the state's COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — It's been a challenging year for businesses as the pandemic continues to take a toll on many industries.

In Monroe County, some relief is on the way.

"We, like every other county in Pennsylvania, received money to provide relief for hospitality organizations including bars, restaurants, pubs, hotels, etc. We got $1.9 million, a little over $1.9 million. It's based entirely on the population of the county," said Monroe County Commissioner John Moyer.

The money comes under the state's COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP).

It will be administered by Pocono Mountains Industries, Incorporated.

Eligible businesses must be in Monroe County, have fewer than 300 full-time employees, and be able to prove financial loss because of the pandemic.

"People who have gotten grants previously can apply, but preference will be given to those organizations that have not yet received any federal or state funding," said Commissioner Moyer.

According to the county commissioners, grants that will be available range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Steve Brancato owns Downriver Brewing Company on Main Street in Stroudsburg. He says support from his customers has been great throughout the pandemic, and he's pleased to hear some relief is on the way.

"I think it's excellent. I think maybe it's overdue. There's a lot of businesses that had it kind of rough over the last few months or so, so for the county to step up and put this money out there to struggling businesses, I think it's awesome," said Brancato.

Applications will be accepted starting March 1.