The application window for the Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund has closed and all eligible applicants have received their grant or loan. We have compiled a final report with details on the funding. Download a PDF of the full report here.

Learn more about the launch of the Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund below.

The Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund is a fund composed of both grants and loans to provide emergency relief to small businesses struggling under the financial impact of COVID-19. The Emergency Fund is designed to help small and very small businesses within the City of Lancaster, PA.

The fund was created over the past month and is in response to the urgent needs of the Lancaster City business community in the midst of the dramatic economic downturn sparked by the pandemic. Federal resources provided through the CARES Act offer important resources, but due to the overwhelming need, they will likely be insufficient and will not reach the most vulnerable small businesses in our community.

The April 29th, 2020 launch of the Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund will open with $1.25 Million available in highly flexible, low-interest loans, and approximately $250,000 available in grants. These resources will be offered to businesses with under $1 Million dollars in annual revenue.

APPLICATION

The application timeframe has now closed.

BUSINESS QUALIFICATIONS AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 

PurposeThis fund is intended to support an inclusive and diverse small business environment within Lancaster City. Businesses with up to $1 million in annual revenue may apply.
Business QualificationsThis is NOT a first-come, first-serve fund. All applications will be equitably considered based on the following characteristics.

• Longevity in business
• Long-term sustainability
• Local economic and community impact of business
• Positive business practices
• Location of business in Lancaster City
• Impact on the streetscape of Lancaster City
• Number of employees
• Likelihood of survival if these funds are received
• Severity of current need

*The Review Committee reserves the right to add further priorities or change eligibility criteria based upon applicant pool.
Eligibility• Businesses can only apply for EITHER a grant or a loan and are encouraged to consider the best solution for their business based upon cash needs and ability to take on more debt.
• Businesses under $500,000 in annual revenue can apply for EITHER a grant or a loan.
• Businesses between $500,000 - $1 million in annual revenue are eligible to apply for a loan ONLY.
• Owners of multiple businesses can only apply for funding for ONE of their businesses.
• Business must operate within Lancaster City.
Eligibility Specific to PPP and EIDLIf a business has received PPP or EIDL funding, they may not be eligible for a grant. They can, however, apply for a loan.

A business that has received funding from PPP or the EIDL advance and it is less than the grant amount they can apply for through this Emergency Fund ($2,500 or $5,000), they may be eligible to receive the difference. Businesses in this category are encouraged to apply. See the stipulations below for more clarification:

For businesses who applied AND received PPP or EIDL:

1) Eligible for Grant Funding if business received funds from EIDL or PPP less than the grant amount than can be applied through the Emergency fund
  • Revenue up to $250,000: Grant amount up to $2,500
    • EIDL and/or PPP award must be less than $2,500

  • Revenue $250,001-$500,000: Grant amount up to $5,000
    • EIDL and/or PPP award must be less than $5,000

2) Not eligible for Grant Funding if business received funds from EIDL or PPP more than the grant amount than can be applied through the Emergency fund
  • Revenue up to $250,000: Grant amount up to $2,500
    • EIDL and/or PPP award is more than $2,500

  • Revenue $250,001-$500,000: Grant amount up to $5,000
    • EIDL and/or PPP award is more than $5,000

GRANT AND LOAN PROGRAMS 

The Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund includes the following three programs:

Relief Program:Eligible Businesses:Amount Available per Business:What you'll need to apply:
Business Grant
Annual revenue under $250,000Up to $2,500 grant; final amount determined by review committee • Most recent tax return (2018 or 2019)
Business Grant
Annual revenue $250,001 - $500,000
Up to $5,000 grant; final amount determined by review • Most recent tax return (2018 or 2019)
Small Business Loan
Annual revenue up to $1 millionUp to $25,000 loan; final amount determined by review

Loan Terms
• 5-year loan
• 0% interest for the first year
• First payment is made after 6 months
• 4% interest years 2-5
• Most recent Business Tax Return (2018 or 2019)

• If you have not filed your 2019 Business Tax Return, provide your December 31, 2019 Internally-prepared financial statement in addition to your 2018 Business Tax Return

• Listing of personal assets, liabilities, and net worth (entered into application directly)

• List of all business debt (entered into application directly)
*Please Note: We will pull credit reports and conduct lien searches on businesses

• A description of the impact of COVID-19 on your business and your recovery plan (entered into application directly)
**Collateral may be required for some loans

APPLICATION INFORMATION

Applications will be open from April 29th (9 a.m.) to May 10th (11:59 p.m.). The application timeframe has now closed.

This is NOT a first-come, first-served fund. Once the applications close on May 10th, all applications will be equally considered.

We’re committed to a simple, low-barrier process. All cumbersome and non-essential steps have been removed. Businesses can only apply for EITHER a grant or a loan and are encouraged to consider the best solution for their businesses based upon cash needs and ability to take on more debt. Remember, owners of multiple businesses can only apply for funding for ONE of their businesses. 

There will be two separate applications—one for grants and one for loans. All applications will be available in English and Spanish.

MANAGEMENT & DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS

ASSETS and Community First Fund—two Lancaster 501(c)(3) nonprofits and certified Community Development Financial Institutions—will be managing and distributing all funding in an equitable, timely, and structured manner.

Once applications close on May 10th, all applications will be equally considered.

  • May 10 — Application closes
  • May 22 — Grant and Loan decisions completed
  • May 26 — Grant and Loan disbursements begin

FOUR COMPONENTS OF THE FUND

The approximately $1.5 Million available in the Emergency Fund has been generously contributed by the following entities:

  1. City of Lancaster Funding: $250,000 in loans
  2. ASSETS and Community First Fund Loan Funds: Two Lancaster 501(c)(3) nonprofits and certified Community Development Financial Institutions are collectively contributing $1,000,000 in loan capital. These two organizations will also manage and disburse all funds raised.
  3. EnCourage Lancaster Crowdfunding Campaign: Individual tax-deductible contributions made through a GoFundMe fundraising campaign dispersed as cash grants through the Emergency Fund. This initiative is led by the EnCourage Lancaster Small Business organization, an advocacy group of small businesses supporting small businesses, formed in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  4. Foundation + Philanthropic Support: Grant funds provided by the following entities: Fulton Bank | Ferree Foundation | High FoundationRodgers & Associates | James and Kanoko Clarke

QUESTIONS?